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Warner Bros. Discovery CEO hopes actors take studios’ ‘last, best and final offer’

As the SAG-AFTRA strike hit its 118th day on Wednesday, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav expressed his hope that the strikes would end soon, and that the actors would take Hollywood’s “final” offer.

“We made a last and final offer, which met virtually all of the union’s goals and includes the highest wage increase in 40 years and believe it provides for a positive outcome for all involved,” Zasalav said in a Wednesday earnings call. “We recognize that we need our creative partners to feel valued and rewarded and look forward to both sides getting back to the business of telling great stories.”

Talks between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and SAG-AFTRA resumed on Wednesday, following a 10 hour deliberation on Tuesday. The latest offer saw the AMPTP adjust its wording on artificial intelligence, which has been a centerpiece of both the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.

Since the beginning of the strikes, SAG-AFTRA has pushed for stronger protection of actors’ digital likeness, increasingly used by studios in films such as “The Flash.” SAG-AFTRA’s proposal would require the consent of actors before studios could use their digital replicas in film.

According to a letter from SAG-AFTRA to guild members on Monday, studios were still struggling to close the gap in their approach to AI. “There are several essential items on which we still do not have an agreement, including AI,” the letter read. “We will keep you informed as events unfold.”

On minimum rates for actors, studios have so far only come up to a 7-8% increase – higher than the agreement made with the WGA, but short of SAG-AFTRA’s requested 11% increase.

As of Wednesday, per a Deadline report, the guild is still reviewing the “last, best and final offer.”

Film studios’ third quarter earnings are expected to be released this week, and are likely to show the impact of the past six months of strikes. Deadline reported that they have so far cost the California economy $6.5 billion.


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