Studios Vs. Actors: The Suits Walk Away

After agreeing to extend contract negotiations on Friday, Hollywood studios abruptly ended talks with the Screen Actors Guild on Tuesday night. The message: “We’ve got much more leverage than you think. Just ask your writer pals.”

Although SAG claimed they were willing to negotiate all night to establish an agreement, the studios said in a statement that “insufficient progress” had been made to continue talks. And they admonished SAG for not accepting the “economic realities” behind similar deals with the writers and directors’ guilds.

Like last fall’s WGA negotiations, the studios and the actors are largely fighting over digital issues, like whether SAG coverage applies to actors on Internet shows and if the studios can use short clips without obtaining actors’ consent. Although SAG has not voted on whether to strike, SAG president Alan Rosenberg told Variety they may vote as early as next week.

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