SAG-AFTRA Ends Nearly Four-Month-Long Strike with Tentative Deal
SAG-AFTRA, the largest union representing performers in the entertainment industry, has announced the details of a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios. This announcement brings an end to a strike that has lasted nearly four months, impacting the production of films and television shows.
One of the key highlights of the deal is the wage increases for actors. The agreement includes three wage increases, starting with a 7 percent raise immediately upon ratification. This will be followed by a 4 percent increase in July 2024 and a 3.5 percent increase in July 2025. Background actors will also see an increase in wages, with an 11 percent raise beginning on November 12. There will be additional increases of 4 percent and 3.5 percent in July 2024 and July 2025 respectively.
Another significant aspect of the agreement is the establishment of a bonus fund for actors whose work appears on streaming platforms. This fund, amounting to $40 million per year for three years, will be awarded based on certain criteria of “success” as determined by the union.
Addressing concerns about the usage of artificial intelligence, the deal requires informed consent from union members and compensation for the use of digital replicas of both living and deceased performers. This provision aims to protect the rights and likeness of actors.
The agreement also includes provisions for higher contributions towards health and retirement benefits for SAG-AFTRA workers, addressing longstanding concerns from members about inadequate support in these areas. Additionally, the deal aims to confront racist practices in hair and makeup, acknowledging the concerns raised by actors of color.
Furthermore, the deal mandates the use of intimacy coordinators for sex scenes and scenes involving nudity, or if requested by an actor. This step is being taken to ensure a safe working environment and protect the well-being of performers.
The tentative agreement has received approval from the SAG-AFTRA National Board, with 86 percent of votes in favor. Members will have the opportunity to vote on ratification of the deal between November 14 and December 5.
The resolution of this strike will come as a relief to both performers and Hollywood studios, allowing them to resume production and move forward with projects. The deal represents a significant step towards fair compensation, improved working conditions, and better representation for actors in the entertainment industry.
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