Ted Sarandos Optimistic About SAG-AFTRA Strike Negotiations on Tuesday



After the AMPTP walked away from the negotiating table over a week ago, Ted Sarandos is hopeful that the upcoming conversations with SAG-AFTRA on Tuesday will lead to a suitable agreement for both parties.

“I’m an optimist. I’m an eternal optimist. We’ve been at the table and been receptive and we’re working at this as hard as we can. It’s impacted a lot of people,” Sarandos told Variety at A Sense of Home’s third annual gala, which was held at the Netflix CEO’s private residence on Saturday evening.

“I mean, we’re talking about helping folks with housing instability today. This strike has caused families, billions of dollars and communities billions of dollars. It’s 33% of the national economy, 20% of the California economy is affected by this strike. So, we are trying very hard to get this done,” he added.

Sarandos closed his sentiments, reflecting on his own experience when his family went on strike. “We were very dependent on the generosity of others who Foodbanked for us and made sure that we had food to eat during this prolonged strike back when my dad was a union electrician. So, I understand the impact that this has on folks. It’s one of those things where the business is changing, it’s complicated for sure. But also, we have the ability to move forward with a modern agreement that can make sure that everyone’s taken care of.”

Sarandos made last week’s headlines after he briefly offered his take on the guild’s most recent talks with studios during the streamers third-quarter earnings video call on Wednesday, claiming SAG-AFTRA “broke our momentum” in reaching an agreement due to a new demand for a “subscriber levy unrelated to viewing or success.”

“But you should know we are incredibly, totally committed to ending the strike. The industry, our communities, the economy are all hurting. So we need to get a deal done that respects all sides as soon as we possibly can,” he said at the time.

The executive opened up about his feelings on the new round of conversations alongside his wife, Nicole Avant, as they co-hosted the charity gala which honored Charlotte and Gary Gilbert as well as Ruggable CEO, Jeneva Bell.

With speeches from A Sense of Home CEO Georgie Smith, “Property Brothers” star Drew Scott and fashion designer Rachel Zoe, the crowd of supporters gathered in the Sarandos’ decorated yard and listened to the words of several A Sense of Home alumni, who shared their experiences as former foster youth who’ve graduated from the system and were provided assistance from the organization.

“We all know that and we’re all very fortunate to be able to go home tonight and sleep in a warm bed and have running water and you know feel safe, secure and have something of our own, yet so many people don’t. When I first met Georgie and Melissa, they reminded me that when you age out of foster youth — Can you just imagine for one second hearing ‘Here’s 200 bucks. Good luck.’ And you’re out with no support system, with no one taking care of you, with no one really having your back? It’s just not okay,” said Avant, who also told Variety on the red carpet that her late mother, Jacqueline Avant, was her inspiration to give back to organizations like A Sense of Home. Guests were also provided a copy of Avant’s recently released memoir “Think You’ll Be Happy: Moving Through Grief With Grit, Grace, and Gratitude” in their gift bags, along with other items.

“And we can’t fix everyone. We can’t fix everything. Lord knows we can’t fix the government. But, the government does work for us. So, we are going to make a difference one step at a time. Tonight, this is proof that all of you are here and whatever you donate it’s one step at a time to one family at a time to one parents at a time to one person at a time. It’s always one step at a time but you’re planting the best seeds and the kind of seeds and the seeds of love that will grow,” she said.


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