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Hollywood actors to resume negotiations with studios

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists has announced that strike negotiations with studios will resume next week.



With the Hollywood writers strike over, actors will now get a shot at cutting their own deal with studios and streaming services.


The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists announced on Wednesday night that strike negotiations with studios would resume Monday.


The guild said several studio executives will attend, much as they did during marathon sessions last week that helped bring the nearly five-month writers strike to an end.


Monday is the same day that network late-night hosts will return to the air.


The strikes have had a "catastrophic" impact on late-night television viewing, according to the research firm Samba TV.


Without Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel proving fresh, topical material, the broadcast networks have seen late-night viewership declines of between 40 and 50 per cent.


Scripted shows will take longer to return, with actors still on strike and no negotiations yet on the horizon.


On Tuesday night, board members from the writers union approved a contract agreement with studios, bringing the industry at least partly back from a historic halt in production that stretched nearly five months.


The three-year agreement with studios, producers and streaming services includes significant wins in the main areas writers had fought for — compensation, length of employment, size of staffs and control of artificial intelligence — matching or nearly equalling what they had sought at the outset of the strike.


The union had sought minimum increases in pay and future residual earnings from shows and will get a raise of between 3.5 per cent and five per cent in those areas — more than the studios had initially offered.


The guild also negotiated new residual payments based on the popularity of streaming shows, where writers will get bonuses for being a part of the most popular shows on Netflix, Max and other services, a proposal studios initially rejected.


Many writers on picket lines had complained that they weren't properly paid for helping create heavily watched properties.


On artificial intelligence, the writers got the regulation and control of the emerging technology they had sought.


Under the contract, raw, AI-generated storylines will not be regarded as "literary material" — a term in their contracts for scripts and other story forms a screenwriter produces.


This means they won't be competing with computers for screen credits.


Nor will AI-generated stories be considered "source" material, their contractual language for the novels, video games or other works that writers may adapt into scripts.


Writers have the right under the deal to use artificial intelligence in their process if the company they are working for agrees and other conditions are met.


But companies cannot require a writer to use artificial intelligence.


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