Hollywood strike negotiators under mounting pressure to make a deal

Hollywood strike negotiators under mounting pressure to make a deal

The months-long actor's strike has wreaked havoc on Hollywood. Thousands are out of work, productions have been put on hold and numerous industries have been affected, costing the California economy over $5 billion.

Hollywood's studios and streamers returned to the bargaining table with SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents over 150,000 actors, Friday for what is their third round of meetings this week.

These negotiations come after talks publicly fell apart two weeks ago between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP, which represents Hollywood’s studios and streamers (including NBC’s parent company Comcast).

Three sources familiar with the negotiations tell NBC News that progress was made on numerous issues during Thursday's negotiations, with one source saying “it feels like the end is in sight.”

A second source said, "There is enormous pressure on both sides to get a deal done."

But two of those three sources say that Friday’s meeting had been “challenging,” with one saying, “It’s a volatile situation, both sides are far apart on some key issues.”

NBC News has reached out to both SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP for comment.

The talks did not result in a deal Friday night, and in a statement to members on Friday evening, the union’s TV/theatrical negotiating committee said, “We completed a full and productive day working internally and will continue into the weekend.”

The committee added, “We thank you for the incredible solidarity and support you have shown on the pickets and across the country all week long.”

Early Friday morning SAG-AFTRA wrote on X, "Today, we passed a comprehensive counter across the table to the CEOs and while talks for the day have ended, our committee just completed working internally tonight."

Among the main sticking points are residuals in the streaming era, protections around artificial intelligence and a levy on subscribers.

All sources confirmed a report by Variety that the AMPTP offered a 7% increase in minimum rates. When it comes to AI, the union wants oversight and veto power in how AI is used with their performers, something that AMPTP is not prepared to agree to, the sources said.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos spoke out about the ongoing negotiations earlier this month and said that the main issue keeping both sides from making a deal was a levy on subscribers.

SAG-AFTRA's President Fran Drescher told NBC News at the time that the union had proposed that the streamers pay 57 cents per subscriber for the three-year deal. Sarandos publicly slammed the suggestion, saying it would cost the AMPTP over $800 million annually, a figure that Drescher said was exaggerated. All sources said that Friday's talks were primarily centered around this issue.

The impact of the Hollywood strike has been felt in numerous industries, including transportation, dry cleaning and the restaurant industry.

August's U.S. Jobs Report estimated that over 17,000 jobs had been lost due to the strike which has lasted over 100 days, making it the longest in Hollywood's history. The WGA which represents over 11,000 writers came to a deal last month after nearly 150 days on strike.

In the midst of Hollywood essentially being at a standstill, numerous productions including "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two," have been pushed to 2025 due to the strike.

An uncertainty looms over the industry with the holiday season quickly approaching.

"Many actors are running out of their savings, maxing out their credit cards. This is dire. We need a deal done and we need it now," one source said.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com