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“What does that exactly mean, and why would you walk away from the table? It’s not like we’re asking for anything that’s so outrageous,” Drescher said in an interview with NBC’s Chloe Melas that aired on the Today show Friday. “It’s so wrong. And it’s so unfair that they walked out of the meeting. And so disrespectful.”
On Thursday, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said that talks fell apart after SAG proposed what he called a “levy” on streaming subscribers. The AMPTP said that the proposal would cost them more than $800 million per year.
“That’s an inflated price for the benefit of the press,” Drescher told Melas. “It factors out to 57 cents per year per subscriber, less than a postage stamp.”
“We can’t go back to the way things were. It’s unsustainable, and my members can no longer make a living on this new and unprecedented streaming platform with the old structure of payment,” Drescher added. “And they are going to have to accept that reality.”
And artificial intelligence remains a sticking point, with consent and compensation still uncertain.
“We’re fighting tooth and nail to get them the AI protections that they want,” Drescher said. “But the last thing that Sarandos said when they exited the room yesterday, ‘We don’t like your counterproposal for AI.’ Well, you know, we’re looking for the protections that these people deserve. Because it’s their likeness. It’s their essence of being. It’s their talent that is in jeopardy of being ripped off.”
In the interview, Drescher framed the guild’s fight as being somewhat existential, mirroring her comments from July when the strike began.
“We’re at a crossroads where it’s a very dangerous time,” she said. “And this is a very important negotiation. What happens here matters.”
SAG-AFTRA canceled all pickets scheduled for Friday in New York City and Los Angeles, citing “potential safety concerns that are unrelated to our ongoing strike” after the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas urged supporters to take to the streets in a day of action in support of the terrorist attacks in Israel. Said the actors union in a post on social media Thursday, “Stay safe and see you on the picket lines next week.”
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