It was short and sweet, and nothing substantial was discussed, but members of the negotiating teams from both sides in the SAG/AFTRA talks with commercial producers shared a "cordial face-to-face meeting" on Sept. 18 in New York City. High profile actors including Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, Olympia Dukakis and Celeste Holm attended the face-to-face meeting which occurred at about 3:30 in the afternoon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Several hundred actors had marched to the hotel from Colombus Circle earlier in the day following a strike rally there. At the Crowne Plaza, the actors on the street staged a compelling demonstration that was remarkable not only by virtue of its celebrity make-up, but by its silent nature.
Playbill On-Line has learned that the commercial producers presented a "conciliatory statement" which was read by that group's Joint Policy Committee (JPC) at the face-to-face. The producers statement was said to have indicated that their side intended to "make a deal" with the actors. At the same meeting, the union was said to have reassured the JPC that its "resolve is strong."
On Sept. 19, the fifth consecutive day of negotiations since the talks resumed on Sept. 13, the full negotiating team from the JPC is expected to join the Crowne Plaza discussions for the first time. That group should be in place at the table by mid-afternoon.
-- By Murdoch McBride