He brought zing to a sleepy Comic-Con, and he’s raising the humidity levels here at TIFF. SAG-AFTRA Chief Negotiator and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland took the stage at the festival to give a post-Labor Day update on talks; and still it’s the same old story: The actors haven’t heard zip from the studios about moving forward.
“There was optimism and encouragement when they went back with the Writers Guild but that hasn’t been as productive as I hoped,” Crabtree-Ireland said today at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.
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With studios and streamers split with their approach to the writers, could SAG-AFTRA make deals individually with companies’ ala studios with exhibition?
“It is possible,” conceded Crabtree-Ireland, however, “it’s not something that I have any reason to think is going to happen. I haven’t been approached by anybody about that or given any hints that could happen.
We had a separate agreement with Netflix, still do in fact, with Netflix for last six years. Last year we negotiated that agreement with them. Part of their strong desires was to be part of the AMPTP, which they now are.”
Separately with Deadline after the talk, Crabtree-Ireland said, “All indications I have is that they’re sticking together as part of the AMPTP and that’s the framework they’re looking to negotiate a deal.”
But get this (David Zaslav).
That $300M-$500M hit to 2023 earnings that’s been talked about –well, Crabtree-Ireland says that “$300M to $500M loss in one quarter from one company can almost pay for the entirety of the proposal package that’s on the table from SAG-AFTRA for three years.”
“If I was a Wall Street analyst, I’d be questioning the logic in the approach of these negotiations that the companies are bringing,” he emphasized.
Sellers at TIFF with pics that might be primed for streamers, do note:
“There’s no prohibition in the interim agreement against producers selling those projects to streamers, however, the interim agreement does contain our streaming revenue share proposal,” explained Crabtree-Ireland.
That means streamers sharing some of their revenue with SAG members per the terms of the guild.
Crabtree-Ireland said he sees the SAG-AFTRA interim agreements as a “win-win situation.”
“As streamers are going to acquire that content and platform it and start paying our members out of their revenue stream or wait and not acquire content until after strike is over. Once the strike is over, interim agreeements and whatever deal we made with AMPTP; those terms will merge. So, anyone who signs an interim agreement now will not be at a disadvantaged in comparison to the AMPTP once the strike is over.”
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