HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Union and studio negotiators planned to meet for a fourth straight day Oct. 29 in an attempt to end the actors’ strike, which has reached 107 days, according to a report.
After meeting on Saturday, a person described as a studio insider familiar with the day’s proceedings told the industry website TheWrap, “Things are feeling more optimistic.”
However, four studio CEOs—David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery, Donna Langley of NBCUniversal, Ted Sarandos of Netflix and Bob Iger of Disney—who have been present at earlier sessions this week were not at the table on Friday or Saturday, according to reports.
A studio insider told TheWrap that leaders of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers—which represents the studios—are considering a return to brinksmanship negotiations if a deal is not struck by Halloween. In that event, according to the insider, AMPTP would consider walking away from talks until at least January.
On Friday, representatives of the union and AMPTP met at SAG-AFTRA’s Mid-Wilshire headquarters. Michael Akins, the business agent of IATSE Local 479 in Georgia, told members in an email that afternoon to be ready to return to work in November, according to the entertainment trade newspaper Variety.
“At this time, we have no concrete information from any studio, but the writing is clearly on the wall that the industry shutdown is in its final days,” Mr. Akins wrote. “We are confident that our members will be returning to work within the next few weeks.”
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees represents technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry.
It remains unclear whether that optimism is warranted, as the actors union still has a long list of demands, the Variety report said.
The CEOs have warned there is little time left to save the 2023-24 broadcast television season, and they continue to fear that the summer movie season will be badly damaged if the strike is not resolved soon, Variety reported.
The union sees that as an empty threat, but is also dealing with growing restlessness among its A-list members, according to Variety.
The actors’ union demands include general wage increases, protections against the use of actor images through artificial intelligence, boosts in compensation for successful streaming programs and improvements in health and retirement benefits.