After 113 days on the picket lines, the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike could finally be in sight as negotiators are reportedly in the home stretch of finalizing a deal. On Friday, SAG-AFTRA members were on standby waiting to hear from studio executives on their most recent counter-proposal.
“It could be over soon,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the national executive director and chief negotiator of SAG-AFTRA. “The focus today is trying to bring this deal home, and the fact is, there are still some issues between us. We’re waiting for a response from the studios and streamers, but I am hopeful.”
In what could be the final hours for picketing, Crabtree-Ireland told KTLA that he met with studio executives up until 9 p.m. Thursday evening, but the studios and streamers have not responded to the union’s counter-proposal since then.
Both sides seem frustrated and unwilling to budge on the use of artificial intelligence.
“These are really important things that we’re out here fighting for,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “Since day one, for example, artificial intelligence, people could lose their careers over it.”
“People are out of work, they’re losing their apartments, their homes, marriages are breaking up,” said “Titanic” and “Resurrection” actress Frances Fisher. “It’s very serious out here.”
Fisher says the studios will give in eventually.
“We’re going to make a deal. When?” Fisher asked. “Nobody knows. It’s just a matter of time when they realize the longer they stay out, the more money they’re going to lose.”
While many are hopeful that the end of the strike is near, Crabtree-Ireland is stressing to strikers to stay united until a final deal is reached.
“Can you imagine right now?” asked “An Irish Goodbye” actor James Martin. “I’d be doing cartwheels. I like getting my steps in, but let’s make it happen, c’mon!”