Now in the second full week of the actor’s strike and there’s no sign of either side coming to an agreement anytime soon.
For the first time since 1960, the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are both on strike with picket lines and famous faces walking the pavement and championing better employment protection for working-class actors and writers.
The writer’s strike is already in its third month, and now Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that the actor’s strike could stretch well into next year.
Crabtree-Ireland was part of the team, alongside union president Fran Drescher, that negotiated with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Talks broke down on July 13th, with no formal communication between the two parties since. Crabtree-Ireland says:
“I wouldn’t rule out January or February. Everyone should be working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen, but the only way that doesn’t happen is by finding a path to a fair deal. And we’re not going to compromise on the core principles of fairness that our employees fight for.
I did send a letter to the AMPTP formally advising them of the strike but other than that, there has been no communication directly between us. Of course, there are always back channels, but that hasn’t worked so far.”
Production and promotion of most major international film and TV production around the world have come to a halt and will remain that way until agreements can be reached over core issues such as AI and residual payments.
Crabtree-Ireland adds part of the complication is a potential division between the major studios themselves:
“Our understanding of the AMPTP approach is that they require consent consensus to reach a decision; it can’t be a majority rule… I think that does sometimes slow them down.”
In other words, if all but one or two studios agree to the terms – the talks still stall due to those holdouts.
The comments come as Dwayne Johnson reportedly made a seven-figure donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Assistance Program which is funded by donations and aims to help actors and their families who are in urgent need.