SAG Talks Speed Up As Deadline ApproachesBy Caillan
June 23, 2001 - 12:17 PM
Only a few days ago, it looked as if the talks between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Hollywood producers had stalled. However, a press release on Thursday indicated a desire by both sides to move quickly towards a resolution before the June 30 deadline.
"The committees will continue to negotiate continuously," said a joint statement released by the SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) (via Inside.com), "including possibly through the weekend - until a successful resolution has been reached, with no breaks in negotiations scheduled at this time, in an effort to meet the June 30 deadline."
"AMPTP and SAG/AFTRA negotiating committees spent the majority of the day discussing a comprehensive response by the producers on most of the major economic proposals from SAG/AFTRA," the statement said. This highlighted the major stumbling block in the negotiations: the disparity of the positions between the two sides over pay-rises.
The motive for the lift of the media blackout was apparently a desire to set the record straight about the events of the closed-door negotiations. "We will begin providing greater detail about the topics being discussed each day," the statement continued, "[in order] to avoid any inaccurate speculation that might occur over the next several days."
Reportedly, the large amount of media attention was a big impetus to speed up the talks. "The parties have perceived some pressure to get this wrapped up, and the talks have intensified," a source told Inside.com. "We got a lot of work done today. The talks have taken a sudden turn."
The studios have been reluctant to press ahead with production because of the uncertainty of the negotiations. "The lack of resolution has had a tremendous impact," head of Artisan Entertainment Amir Malin told Variety. "Everyone's confident there will not be a strike, but you can't go forward without that finality."