Despite the length of the SAG-AFTRA strike, a new poll from the Los Angeles Times shows that American public support for the actors’ strike remains much higher than for Hollywood studios, networks, and streaming platforms.
According to the poll, tabulated before Oct. 11, when the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers abruptly quit negotiations with SAG-AFTRA, a 34% plurality of polling respondents side with the actors. That’s a slight decline from the 38% who said they supported the strike in July, but still easily the largest single group of people polled.
29% of respondents expressed understanding of both sides of the conflict. Only 7% said they supported the studios over SAG-AFTRA. A number that remains unchanged from the July poll.
An additional 30% had no position on the strike.
Talks broke down last week when the studios quit, citing objections to a proposal from the guild that studios agree to pay $1 per subscriber per year for all streaming services. This was a step down from the earlier demand of a 1% fee from streaming revenue.
At issue are residual payments to actors — SAG-AFTRA has asked for $500 million. To date, the studios have only been willing to offer $20 million, a figure identical to the base salary of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
The question of streaming residuals is an important one. The poll also indicated that 69% of Americans, or approximately two-thirds of the country, subscribe to at least one streaming service, while 28% reported that they don’t subscribe to any. Of those who do not subscribe to a streaming service, high costs or lack of interest were most frequently cited as the reason why.
Also of note: the majority of those polled (51%) said they hadn’t seen a movie in theaters in the last year, with respondents between 18 and 34 being the most likely to go.
On Tuesday, several notable actors met with the leaders of SAG-AFTRA to discuss the most recent failed negotiations with studios and offer “suggestions” and “Feedback.” Of the meeting, which reportedly included the participation of George Clooney, Emma Stone, Tyler Perry, and Ben Affleck, the guild told TheWrap, “We meet with members of all profiles every day, and we won’t be commenting on those private conversations.”