More apocalyptic Hollywood strike talk is surfacing this morning, with Variety noting that little progress has been made in the ongoing contract negotiations between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Shocking! But with one week remaining on their clock before the compliant gang at AFTRA gets their turn to bend over the conference room table for a little rough, residual-based intimacy, time is of the essence for an aggressive union leadership that wants to at least pretend it maintains the upper hand:
Although the guild hasn't set a strike authorization vote for the 120,000 SAG members yet, the industry continues to fret about a work stoppage. The majors have remained unwilling to commit to starting new feature productions until a SAG deal is in hand — a situation that some in the biz are calling a de facto strike.
After two weeks, the guild's been unwilling to back down from two of its initial demands — that the companies increase DVD residuals and offer a shorter period of free usage for promotional purposes for streamed content than the 17- and 24-day windows in the DGA and WGA deals. The majors have insisted they won't give in to either demand.
So what now? What else? Our money's on the vaunted SAG leadership to bitterly walk away from the table at the end of the week without a deal, prompting yet another labor cliffhanger to which union boss Alan Rosenberg will again invoke his "social justice" creds while the studio production calendar goes into lockdown. And why wouldn't he? He's an actor, for Christ's sake; the next two months of drama will be the best role he's had in years.