Already a member? Log In

Can the Actors Beat the Writers’ Deal?

SAG-AFTRA will almost certainly compromise on the key issues to a degree. And in fact, it already has.
SAG-AFTRA will almost certainly compromise on the key issues to a degree. And in fact, it already has. Photo: Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images
Jonathan Handel
October 13, 2023

As the “Gang of 4” studio executives walked out of SAG-AFTRA talks yesterday, suspending negotiations until who knows when, they may have finally started to understand that not one but two of their worst fears were apparently coming true. First, Hollywood guilds have learned to make strikes work. And second, pattern bargaining, long an AMPTP tool for constraining guild demands in triennial above-the-line negotiations, has instead become a one-way ratchet that sets floors, not ceilings, for the unions. Not surprisingly, the two points are related.