Striking actors and writers braved the summer heat in Los Angeles Photo: Benoît Prieur
Two months after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) reached a deal with major studios and brought its strike to an end, the US actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, has announced that its 118 day strike is also over. The deal with its negotiating committee has established still needs to be reviewed by its national board, but is expected to be formally approved.
"We have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes 'above-pattern' minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time establishes a streaming participation bonus," said the negotiating committee in a statement. "The deal includes numerous improvements for multiple categories including outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities."
It noted that pension and health cover had also been improved, a critical matter for actors who sometimes find themselves struggling to cover healthcare costs when they're in between jobs.
"Today’s tentative agreement represents a new paradigm," said the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). "It gives SAG-AFTRA the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last 40 years; a brand new residual for streaming programs; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizable contract increases on items across the board. The AMPTP is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories."
"Strike's over bitches! Get back to work!" said Jennifer Tilly, celebrating the news.
"Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work," said the SAG-AFTRA team.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Animation Guild are due to enter negotiations with the studios next year.