The recent agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the studios, reached after 118 days of the actors guild being on strike, is a significant development in the entertainment industry. This new three-year contract covers theatrical motion pictures and scripted dramatic content produced for television and new media platforms. The negotiation process, facilitated by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and SAG-AFTRA, has culminated in a deal that promises to shape the future of the industry. The contract details, though not fully disclosed, are expected to have wide-ranging implications for actors and production professionals alike, potentially influencing practices and standards not only in Hollywood but also in related entertainment hubs, including Georgia. This agreement comes as a relief to many in the industry, marking the end of a substantial strike period and setting the stage for renewed activity and growth in film and television production.
Wage increases: Minimum wages for all actors will increase by 7% in the first year of the contract, followed immediately by increases of 4% in the second year and 3.5% in the third year. Background actors will see even greater increases,with their minimum wages rising by 11% in the first year, followed by increases of 4% in the second year and 3.5% in the third year.
Streaming participation bonus: For the first time, SAG/AFTRA members will receive a streaming participation bonus. The bonus will be $40 million per year for three years, and will be distributed as follows:
75% to the top actors (those whose content is viewed by at least 20% of streamers in a 90-day window)
25% distributed more broadly amongst actors on the platform
Relocation allowances for series performers: Series performers will now receive a relocation allowance of $5,000 per month for up to six months.
Casting protections: Actors will now have at least 48 hours to review sides or scripts before an audition, and will only be required to memorize up to eight pages of material. If memorization is required, performers are entitled to compensation.
Mandated intimacy coordinators: All scenes involving nudity will now be overseen by mandated intimacy coordinators.
Protections against AI: The deal includes a number of protections against the use of AI in ways that could harm actors' livelihoods. Including the need for informed consent and compensation. Check out SAG-AFTRA’s infographic here
Despite the board's overwhelming approval, with 86% voting in favor, the deal has not been universally welcomed, indicating initial concerns within the community. The union will hold virtual and in-person informational sessions to provide greater detail and answer questions. The full 18-page tentative agreement from SAG-AFTRA provides detailed insights into these changes and their implications for the industry. Check it out here.
Overall, the SAG/AFTRA deal is a major victory for actors. The wage increases, streaming participation bonus, and other protections will make a significant difference in the lives of many SAG/AFTRA members.