(Cannes) An agreement between Hollywood actors, on strike since July, and studio bosses is possible in the “short term”, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said on Tuesday, “optimistic” despite the suspension of negotiations last week .
“Certainly, things deteriorated a little last week, but they (the actors’ union, editor’s note) want to return to the discussion table,” declared the boss of the media conglomerate, speaking on the occasion of the Mipcom in Cannes, the largest international audiovisual content market.
“And we will get there, because at the end of the day, we all want to get back to work […] and I’m optimistic that we’ll get there as an industry in the short term,” Mr. Bakish, awarded the Personality of the Year award.
The bosses of studios and platforms like Disney and Netflix were talking until last week with representatives of the SAG-AFTRA union, which defends the interests of 160,000 actors, stuntmen, dancers and other professionals from the small and big screens, including members have deserted the film sets since July.
But the two camps announced on Wednesday the suspension of these exchanges, despite a salary agreement last month between the studios and the screenwriters’ representatives, which put an end to the strike started in May by this corporation.
Like the screenwriters, the actors stopped work to request in particular an increase in their remuneration, at half mast in the era of streaming, and protection measures against artificial intelligence (AI).
But the demands made by SAG-AFTRA go further than those of the screenwriters.
Even though it costs the industry millions of dollars every day, the strike has also made it possible to limit Paramount’s expenses, which no longer have to fulfill its production obligations to the strikers, as Bob also conceded. Bakish.
But “this is true for the industry in the broad sense,” he insisted, considering it “totally exaggerated” to say that this helped save the studio, weighed down by its investments in streaming with Paramount.