Lizzie McGuire wants fair wages!
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After nearly four months, one of the longest work stoppages in Hollywood history is coming to an end. On Wednesday, SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents about 160,000 artists, said announced that it has reached a tentative deal with major Hollywood studios. This means that actors can soon go back to work and production of new shows and films can resume.
However, details of the negotiated contract are still under wraps and will not be finalized yet be revealed only when it goes to the board on Friday, SAG-AFTRA described the agreement — reportedly worth more than $1 billion — as “of extraordinary consequence.” The union said it would provide “above-the-line” minimum pay increases, unprecedented consent and compensation provisions that protect members from the threat of AI, and introduce a streaming participation bonus for the first time. “Once leadership signs the deal and the After actors voted on it, everyone can go back to work, although the strike technically ended at 12:01 a.m. PT.
The conflict between studios and artists began in June, when nearly 98 percent of the union voted to authorize a strike before their contracts expired. On June 7, SAG met to begin negotiations for a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a trade association that includes Paramount, Sony, Universal, Disney, Warner Bros., ABC, NBC, Represents Fox and Netflix, Apple TV+ and Amazon, among others.
According to the new York Just, SAG-AFTRA submitted a 48-page proposal to the AMPTP that focused primarily on higher wages, better residuals for movies and shows on streaming services, and assurances that their jobs would not be taken over by AI. The negotiations dragged on for weeks and both parties were undecided. At the end of June over 1,000 artists signed a letter to the guild leadership They said they were “ready to strike” as part of ongoing talks. Before the contract expired on June 30, SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP agreed to extend negotiations until July 12. At this point they had not yet reached an agreement allegedly brought in a federal mediator. The expiration date came and went, and on July 13, SAG-AFTRA’s national board gathered at its headquarters in Los Angeles and voted unanimously to strike. Major Hollywood talent assisted SAG-AFTRA negotiators and took to the streets to picket.
The strike began at midnight on July 14 and the actors walked out Everyone is working on break, including promoting their new and upcoming projects. Per guild regulations, Almost all performing and promotional gigs were off limits: acting, singing, dancing, stunts, voice acting and narration, rehearsals, stand-in or background work, auditions, and even more niche jobs like “puppetry” and… “Control airplanes in front of the camera.” However, SAG-AFTRA has Issue waivers to some indie studios (like A24) that are not part of AMPTP, so they can continue to film certain projects. It was also shared Influencer Member Guidelines, who were able to continue their brand partnerships. The picketers joined members of the Writers Guild of America, who had been striking for more than two months at the time over similar contract concerns: the threat of AI, better compensation and more protections to prevent studios from underpaying their workers.
From the beginning it looked like the work stoppage would last a long time: in July Disney CEO Bob Iger described the strike as “very worrying” and considered the union’s demands “not realistic”. In a statement released shortly before the decision to strike was announced, the AMPTP claimed that it had offered negotiators “historic salary and residual increases, significantly higher caps on pension and health insurance contributions, audition protection, shortened series option periods and a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses.” In response to this statement: SAG chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Irelandtold reporters that the “groundbreaking” AI proposal would have paid background actors for a day’s work, scanned their faces, and then given the company “ownership of that scan, their image, their likeness, and the ability to use it for the rest.” of eternity in any project they want, without consent and without compensation.”
Before the strike began, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation reportedly wrote to 2,700 of the union’s highest-paid members asking them to help support their lower-earning colleagues during the work stoppage. In an interview with diversityFoundation President Courtney B. Vance and Executive Director Cyd Wilson emphasized that the majority of SAG members are not big-name actors with enormous incomes; These are people who work multiple jobs to launch a film career who suddenly lost a significant portion of their income, however long the negotiations took. Vance and Wilson therefore asked for contributions to the Emergency Financial Assistance Program and received a message $15 million from A-list celebrities in just three weeks.
As the strike continued, the union came under pressure to reach an agreement with the studios, particularly after the writers’ strike ended in September. Negotiations began while the AMPTP resumed long-stalled talks with SAG in early October broke quickly Once again, the guild accused the studios of using “bullying tactics” to get their way. Also last month, a handful of notable celebs — including George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Scarlett Johansson — presented one to SAG Suggestion They wanted to speed up negotiations that would see the guild eliminate caps on membership fees and allow the industry’s highest-earning stars to pay more. Reportedly SAG vetoed That pitch said he “didn’t see any validity.”
Notably, Wednesday’s deal does not appear to have met all of the union’s demands. Shaan Sharma, a member of SAG’s negotiating committee, told the new York Just that he was ambivalent about the compromise, explaining: “They say that in a negotiation both sides are unhappy because you can’t get everything you want from either side.” On the whole, you can be happy with the deal, but you can also feel a sense of loss for something you didn’t get that you thought was important.”
Many union members are now represented on X (formerly Twitter) and elsewhere celebrated The end of the strike, and union president Fran Drescher continues to write Instagram, “We made it!!!!” and I thank SAG-AFTRA members “for their perseverance and perseverance on this historic deal!”
This article has been updated.