The Screen Actors Guild has finally reached a tentative new contract covering work in movies and TV shows, a year after they first started negotiating with studio representatives the AMPTP and nearly 10 months after their last contract expired.
So far, neither side is releasing details of the agreement before SAG’s board of directors reviews the deal this Sunday.
The deal comes following two months of back-channels talks between SAG toppers and moguls such as Disney’s Robert Iger and News Corp.’s Peter Chernin. The last key points to be settled centered on SAG insisting on an expiration date in June 2011 in order to stay in synch with the WGA, DGA and AFTRA expirations.
The back-channel talks also focused on settling claims for force majeure payments to actors from TV series that went dark during the writers strike.
The LA Times, which notes that Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer was also involved in the talks, says the actors did get the two-year contract they wanted, a breakthrough that came earlier this month. Also, the Times points out that this contract is “largely similar to the one studios presented to SAG nine months ago. That is certain to raise questions about what the union accomplished by holding out so long to secure a deal after other talent unions secured their own contracts with the studios.”
It’s been a long road to here, including a ton of fruitless strike talk and the ousting of SAG’s chief negotiator Doug Allen.
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