A George Clooney-led $150 million proposal presented to SAG-AFTRA leadership to end the strike is likely DOA. Clooney, Tyler Perry, Scarlett Johansson, and other A-list actors discussed the proposal with SAG-AFTRA leadership during a Tuesday Zoom call.
According to Variety, the group of about 15 actors held a follow-up call with SAG-AFTRA on Wednesday that an inside source says “didn't go well,” adding that the union “didn't see the validity” of the Clooney group's proposal. Variety reports, “After Tuesday’s Zoom, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland met with the union’s negotiating committee to discuss the stars’ proposal, which called for removing the cap on dues in a bid to bring more than $50 million to the union annually and $150 million over three years. They suggested a bottom-up residual structure whereby top earners would be the last to collect residuals rather than the first.”
“I’ll reach out to George to talk to him,” says David Jolliffe, a member of the negotiating committee. “We appreciate everybody’s help. Everybody has ideas. But we’ve been doing this for almost a year now.”
The Chief Negotiator Says SAG-AFTRA Leadership Is Willing to Consider Ideas from Members Such as George Clooney
Variety reports that Crabtree-Ireland stopped by Disney picket lines Thursday morning and gave an interview about the situation. “No one has indicated any lack of unity or support that I’m aware of,” says Crabtree-Ireland. “And I don’t think having a suggestion or an idea is an indication of a lack of support… I think it’s unfortunate if people misconstrue that as some sort of interference or some sort of lack of confidence in the negotiating committee because that’s just not the case. If we were a union that didn’t have so much press attention on us, we would have these kinds of internal conversations all the time and no one would even know about it.”
Crabtree-Ireland adds, “I think everyone would like this to be over with. There’s no one who wants this to continue. But I also think everyone recognizes that that’s only going to happen with a fair deal.”
The failure of the Clooney group's proposal to restart negotiations with the studios calls attention to the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee's tactics and overall vision. “I think it’s pretty tough for [SAG-AFTRA] to not acknowledge that [the A-listers] witnessed their thinking and their strategy and didn’t come away from it thinking, OK they’ve got this. They’ve got a plan,” says one source familiar with the Wednesday call to Variety.
The SAG-AFTRA strike began on July 14. As earlier reported on Wealth of Geeks, WGA members voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the contract by the studios. The industry hoped a SAG-AFTRA agreement would follow soon afterwards, but it is not happening.