Continuing the downward spiral reported in Thursday's Contract Talks SAG Further, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety report that talks between the SAG and AMPTP have shut down. AMPTP will now begin negotiations with AFTRA, pushing SAG negotiations to the back burner. AFTRA had been waiting over two weeks for AMPTP to deal with SAG, and will get their chance now that talks with SAG have hit a snag. According to AMPTP, SAG refuses to go along with deals AMPTP made with the WGA, the DGA and the aforementioned AFTRA. If this is beginning to sound like Alphabet Soup On Crack to you, you're not alone. Writing these acronyms makes me feel like I'm on LSD. Now I'm passing my letter-filled hallucinations to you.
On THR, the producers (AMPTP) describe the reason for the shutdown with the actors (SAG): "SAG negotiators came to this newest round of negotiations with more than 36 major new proposals -- and more than a few of those were deal-breakers." "Under these circumstances, with SAG's continued adherence to unreasonable demands in both new and traditional media, continuing negotiations at this time does not make sense," seconds Variety. It's a big pain in the ass (P.I.T.A.) for all parties.
The astute folks in the audience will recall that AFTRA and SAG were originally negotiating with AMPTP together, but that alliance broke down due to a spat over CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Actors on TBATB tried decertifying with AFTRA, causing a bitter end to joint negotiations. Therefore, when AMPTP talks with SAG became DOA., AFTRA wasn't S.O.L. As with SAG talks, AFTRA talks will be subjected to a media blackout, which means all these negotiations will be on the DL, the hush-hush and the QT.
Unlike the WGA strike, Hollywood had advance warning about SAG's probable strike. Numerous films and television shows were pushed up into production or simply postponed until deals are made. SAG has also been more generous with its waivers and may provide more. Even if a strike occurs, films currently in production may emerge from less painful situations than the WGA strike caused, as filmmakers can work around missing actors better than missing words. Let's hope this war turns out OK for all Hollywood abbreviations, so that I never have to use them in a sentence again.