SAG-AFTRA Reaches Tentative Deal After Nearly 4-Month Strike – Ericatement

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SAG-AFTRA has officially reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract with the AMPTP after nearly four months on strike. 

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) announced on Wednesday, November 8, that it approved the agreement in a unanimous vote. The strike is set to end at 12:01 a.m. PT on Thursday, November 9. The following day, the deal will go to the guild’s national board for approval.

The news comes after two weeks of negations between the union and AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) — which includes major studios Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Warner Bros-Discovery, Apple, Universal, Sony, Paramount, ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS — just short of the deadline of 5 p.m. PT deadline the AMPTP had set for the union to give their answer on whether they had a deal. 

If the deal is ratified, the contract could go into effect soon. If not, negotiations would essentially resume. 

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The two sides spent the last few days dealing with the final negotiations of the deal, which reportedly will see the first-ever protections for actors against artificial intelligence and a historic pay increase, per Variety, with most minimums increasing by seven percent, which is two percent above the increases received by the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

SAG-AFTRA Reaches Tentative Deal With AMPTP Strike Officially Ends After Nearly 4 Months 425
Mario Tama/Getty Images

SAG-AFTRA, which represents approximately 160,000 actors, began their strike in July, joining the efforts two months after the Writer’s Guild of America stopped work. The two unions made similar demands regarding better wages, increased residual payments from streaming services and protections against the use of artificial intelligence. 

The WGA and AMPTP reached a deal for a new three-year contract in September, releasing a 94-page contract at the time that included compensation gains, a new requirement for minimum staff levels in TV writer’s rooms, improvement payment terms for screenwriters and protections for the use of artificial intelligence.

In a message shared via social media, SAG-AFTRA congratulated the WGA on the new development. “We look forward to reviewing the terms of the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement. And we remain ready to resume our own negotiations with the AMPTP as soon as they are prepared to engage on our proposals in a meaningful way,” the organization noted.

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“We applaud your dedication, diligence and unwavering solidarity over the last five months and are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as creative partners in the entertainment industry,” the social media statement read. “We look forward to reviewing the terms of the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement. And we remain ready to resume our own negotiations with the AMPTP as soon as they are prepared to engage on our proposals in a meaningful way.”

The tentative agreement on Wednesday is on the heels of a tough few months between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP. In October, guild president Fran Drescher slammed the studios’ decision to suspend negotiations after months at the table. . 

“It really came as a shock to me because what does that exactly mean and why would you walk away from the table?” Drescher, 66, said during an episode of the Today show. “It’s not like we’re asking for anything that’s so outrageous.”

According to the AMPTP, “thegap between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA is too great,” with SAG’s proposal for actors to receive a two percent cut of streaming platform revenue causing the biggest divide. The studios alleged that it would cost more than “$800 million per year” — an “untenable economic burden.”

In response, SAG-AFTRA accused the AMPTP of implementing “bullying tactics” against the guild and claimed it  “intentionally misrepresented to the press the cost of the above proposal” by 60 percent.