Hollywood Actors Approve Strike-Ending Deal

Hollywood Actors Approve Strike-Ending Deal – On Tuesday, members of the SAG-AFTRA actors union concluded voting to officially approve their multiyear deal with major studios. Following the guild’s record-breaking 118-day strike that concluded last month, the agreement garnered significant support, with 78.33% in favor and a voter turnout of 38.15%.

“SAG-AFTRA members have remained incredibly engaged throughout this process, and I know they’ll continue their advocacy throughout our next negotiation cycle,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said in the release. “This is a golden age for SAG-AFTRA, and our union has never been more powerful.” The contract, valued at over $1 billion, includes “above-pattern” minimum compensation increases. 

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With a 7% general wage hike that “breaks the industry pattern,” according to the union’s national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. Background actors will see an immediate 11% boost in their pay, with further minimum wage hikes of 4% scheduled for 2024 and an additional 3.5% set for 2025. There will also be “unprecedented” provisions when it comes to protections surrounding the use of artificial intelligence. 

According to the guild, members will receive “informed consent and fair compensation” for the creation and use of “digital replicas of members.” Furthermore, there is now an unprecedented streaming residual bonus of approximately $40 million per year for actors on successful shows. The union also noted significant increases in pension and health caps.

Additional notable points encompass revised terms for hair and makeup that safeguard diverse communities, enhancements to benefit plans for episodic work, and mandates to involve intimacy coordinators for scenes involving nudity and simulated sex, as stated by SAG-AFTRA. Initiating a strike on July 14, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing approximately 160,000 global actors, announcers, recording artists, and media professionals, took this action after failing to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). 

AMPTP negotiates on behalf of major studios such as Warner Bros. (WBD), Disney (DIS), Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), NBCUniversal (CMCSA), Paramount (PARA), and Sony (SONY). The strike was halted on Nov. 9 following the successful negotiation of a deal. Much like the writers who officially concluded their strike in October, SAG-AFTRA had been advocating for increased safeguards concerning the impact of AI in media and entertainment. 

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Their efforts also aimed at securing improved pay and higher streaming residuals, particularly as an increasing number of movies and TV shows are released directly to streaming platforms. While Hollywood is anticipated to swiftly resume operations, the repercussions of the recent “double whammy” work stoppage have already left a mark. The hiatus is estimated to have cost the Los Angeles economy around $6.5 billion, encompassing the loss of approximately 45,000 jobs in the entertainment industry, along with production delays for several blockbuster titles.

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