The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) apparently came at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) with a “final offer” to which SAG replied with a counter offer. That was the news which broke earlier today and while the details were not revealed, the beat goes on. SAG members continue to work without a contract, neither side seems willing to budge, and the likelihood of an authorized SAG strike grows dimmer and dimmer by the minute.
The 44,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild who are also members of American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) were able to strike up a deal with AMPTP earlier in this month. Despite this seeming internal pressure, SAG remains steadfast.
SAG President Alan Rosenberg said earlier today in an interview on CNBC that it was irresponsible and unrealistic for a portion of the SAG membership who makes “the lion’s share (or earnings)” to be shut out of the agreement process just because others were satisfied with the results.
While all these words being flung around may seem to be just words to the layperson not involved in the nitty-gritty of the discussions, what this basically boils down to is the Internet. While shows like South Park in the aftermath of the WGA strike may have poked fun at the thought that there is really money to be made on the World Wide Web, there are real things which actors need to be concerned with outside of phenoms like the “what-what in my asshole kid.”
Producers are making money off of images of actors through online streaming and online advertising. If you have ever watched anything online, either live or taped, you’re very aware of the advertisements you have to slog through to get to the programming. While may industrious computer users use this time to instant message in another window, balance their Quicken, or play Spider Solitaire, the fact remains that these advertisements are there and that producers are being paid for them.
While I have not seen the actual verbiage in the contract, Mr. Rosenberg seemed to concur with my broad assessment offering: “There are clauses to this contract which affect actors differently than directors or writers.” Saying at another point that this was not just for the here and now but this would “affect actor’s years down the road.”
So as the television watching, movie enjoying public sits and waits and braces themselves for future screenings of Hancock and Batman this fall, SAG, AMPTP, and AFTRA continue to duke it out.