AFTRA Opposes Joint Talks with SAG

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Variety reports that the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has declared war on the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and carried through on its threat to negotiate a separate deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

SAG announced Saturday afternoon that AFTRA had withdrawn from Phase One joint bargaining.

The unions had been scheduled to give final approval Saturday at a joint board meeting to a contract proposal to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Had that happened, informal talks would have started over the next few days.

Instead, the AMPTP must now decide whether to start negotiations first with AFTRA or SAG. It is likely that the majors would prefer going first with AFTRA, since it covers only three primetime shows under the contract and has been far more moderate than SAG.

The AMPTP responded late Saturday by saying it was pleased that AFTRA is ready to negotiate while not mentioning SAG. And it noted that it had told the actors unions seven weeks ago that it was ready to start negotiations.

The current feature-primetime contract expires June 30.

More details on this development are available here.