The Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood producers started talks Tuesday on a new contract that the wary entertainment industry hopes can be achieved without a strike.
In a joint statement, the two sides said they exchanged proposals during the full day of meetings and planned to resume discussions Wednesday. No further details were provided.
The guild, which represents 120,000 members, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are negotiating a new three-year deal covering movies and prime-time television.
Improved compensation for shows and movies distributed online is a key issue in the actors negotiations, as it was for the Writers Guild of America during its 100-day strike.
That walkout shut down most TV shows and took a heavy toll on the Los Angeles area economy.
Those unions won key victories, including jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution online, and new and better compensation for shows and movies streamed or downloaded online.
Other issues for actors could involve DVD residuals and forced endorsements by actors of products placed in films or on TV shows.
Union conflict preceded the start of talks by actors, whose current contract expires June 30.
SAG is negotiating without its longtime partner, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which moved to sever joint talks after accusing SAG of trying to entice actors from “The Bold and The Beautiful” to abandon the federation.
SAG President Alan Rosenberg rejected the allegation, calling it a cynical excuse by AFTRA to break up the 27-year partnership he claimed it had long wanted to end.
AFTRA, which is set to begin its talks with studios on April 28, had planned to send two staff members to the SAG talks as observers.
SAG also faced internal dissent, with A-list actors including George Clooney and Meryl Streep encouraging union leaders to hasten the start of talks.
The union also was confronted with a demand from more than 1,400 members that voting on the principal film and TV contract be limited to actors who work at least one day a year.
With most guild members going without regular industry employment, some actors have expressed worry that their non-working counterparts would more readily vote for a walkout.
SAG’s board of directors rejected the proposed change in voter eligibility last weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported.