SAG-AFTRA Strikes New Deal With Producers for Film and TV

Tentative contract now goes to actors guild’s national board of directors

Last Updated: June 11, 2020 @ 10:54 AM

SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced in a joint statement on Thursday that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The contract will now go to SAG-AFTRA’s national board of directors for approval and then to the guild’s membership for ratification. The existing contract is set to expire on June 30.

This agreement ends six weeks of videoconferencing negotiations between the actors guild and Hollywood’s producers led by AMPTP president Carol Lombardini, SAG-AFTRA Gabrielle Carteris and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and chief negotiator David White. The talks had already been expected to have major implications for Hollywood’s future as they were expected to discuss residuals and other compensation for streaming TV shows and films at a time when multiple legacy studios are launching their own streaming services like HBO Max and Peacock.

But the economic downturn brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra wrinkle, leading to further discussions about additional language in the contract concerning force majure and the status of actor contracts and pay if a production goes on indefinite hiatus. Prior to the pandemic, SAG-AFTRA reached a separate deal with Netflix that led to increased residuals for actors on Netflix original programming among other improved conditions. The Directors Guild of America also reached a pre-pandemic deal with AMPTP that included 3.5% wage increases. While those contracts have been expected to be a framework for these negotiations, it is uncertain how much the pandemic will have changed the stances of SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP.

Meanwhile, the AMPTP continues negotiations with the Writers Guild of America West after extending its existing contract to a June 30 expiration date. Since negotiations began on May 18, the WGA has sent out a series of emails outlining its major negotiation goals in lieu of traditional membership meetings with the negotiation committee that had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The WGA’s goals are far more extensive than the terms the AMPTP agreed to with the DGA and include increased contributions by studios to the guild’s health/pension plan and inclusion of films’ foreign box office revenue in writer residuals.

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