We're in the middle of Hollywood's first real strike of the social media age. That means we have unprecedented access to the people at the center of these strikes and the ability to gather information about what's going on behind the scenes.
Yesterday, SAG-AFTRA released its deal memo with the AMPTP.
We have it here, and will go over some of the more interesting points.
Read the Deal SAG Proposed to the AMPTP
Starting with the first page of the memo, we can see SAG's main focus is to get a raise that keeps up with inflation. ASs you can see, there's some negotiation there with the AMPTP as to how much those raise should be. Their offer is equal to what they gave the DGA.
They also want a key point which is revenue sharing. That would mean when a show does well on Netflix, the cast would get paid accordingly. The AMPTP completely rejected that idea.
You can go through the other payment asks, and see what the AMPTP offered in the righthand column.
More on the SAG Deal
As you can see in the paper, there are some deals that were made with the AMPTP. Parties agreed on Term and on-screen credits. They also agreed on harassment, animals, and even warm-up spaces.
As with any negotiation, not all went poorly.
But when you see the "rejected" in there, it means the other side wasn't even willing to negotiate on those ideas.
How Has Streaming Affected SAG?
The big thing people are talking about in this section is data reporting. We have no idea how many people are watching which streamers. If we did, unions would all ask for residuals.
The refusal for this sort of conversation is at the very crux of the strike.
SAG Wants To Update Safety Measures
Some of these rejections seem petty. For instance, the idea that meal breaks haven't been updated since the 1960s, and yet the AMPTP still won't address them, is ridiculous. Same with the idea of rest periods.
It's hard not to feel like the AMPTP want actors to just be cogs in their corporate machine.
How Will the AMPTP Address Stunt Performers? AI?
There were some jumps in treating stunt performers well, although roadblocks were hit on just how much they should make in residuals and for their time on set.
There was negotiation on artificial intelligence, but as you can see, neither side was happy with where the other came to the table. This is something to keep an eye on as this progresses.
Especially with the worry that they will use digital replicas of actors without paying them.
Late Payment is OK by the AMPTP
One of the hardest things about acting is that they are always trying to find locals in projects to save money. So you might crush an audition, but the production won't pay to fly you where it happens. Or they offer you a lot less money to do the gig if they can get you there.
Maybe the most offensive bit in this entire contract is seeing that the AMPTP knows they pay people late and that they refused to pay interest or penalties for doing that.
Headway Made on Self-Taping
The idea of self-taping really came to a head during COVID-19, when no one was auditioning in person. The cost of lighting and shooting on a nice camera fell on the actors. If they didn't have a pro-looking setup, many people didn't take them seriously.
Or they would have you self-tape many different pages. Then, oftentimes you would be sending in a self-tape for roles they had already cast anyway.
It's good to see the AMPTP moving more in the direction of facilitating self-taping but again frustrating to see the divide on understanding what would make the basic human elements of this easier and also allow the artists to flourish, be rejected outright.
Basic Respect and Fairness Mostly Rejected By AMPTP
Being an actor is not easy. As you can read in the human rights section here, no one is really considering safety off-set or even willing to pay extra when actors are asked to perform multiple jobs on set.
In a petty move, the idea of not making the same regulations for background actors on the East and West coasts seems completely shortsighted. It's hard to understand what the loss is here for them, but there must be some monetary difference.
Singers, Dancers, and Other Specialists Are Not Spared Rejection
As you can see reading all these proposals, the theme of it is "rejection," just like it was with the WGA. It's not just about acting, but also how actors with special talents like singing and dancing are asking for protection and payment, then having those things rejected as well.
There was some movement on basic ideas, but 25% increases are probably not high enough for long-term change.
As you can see, this was a whirlwind negotiation that had to be extended because SAG probably thought the AMPTP would counter in good faith. But with all these rejected proposals, it's no wonder everyone is on strike.
We're amidst the biggest upheaval in Hollywood labor history.
Creatives want fair compensation, and they're going to the picket lines until they get it.
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