Lights, Camera, Approval! SAG-AFTRA Members Give Nod to New TV and Theatrical Contracts

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SAG-AFTRA union President Fran Drescher speaks to the media, next to SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, after SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Committee approved a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to bring an end to the actors strike, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 10, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The stage is set, the lights are on, and the stars have given their nod to the latest blockbuster deal with the major film studios.

The nail-biting anticipation leading up to the vote was a tale worthy of a Hollywood script itself, but the latest update from SAG-AFTRA confirms that an overwhelming 78.33% of members have thrown their support behind the tentative agreement with the AMPTP on November 8. This revelation has caught many off guard, especially amidst the chatter about artificial intelligence buzzing across social media platforms.

After a grueling 118-day strike, the members have finally cast their votes on the new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Despite the strike, numerous productions had already resumed last month with the blessing of SAG-AFTRA.

It’s worth noting that this time around, an impressive 38.15% of members participated in the voting process, marking a significant increase compared to past years. With the agreement slated to expire on June 30, 2026, it looks like there’s a long road ahead before the next round of negotiations.

The journey to this deal was anything but smooth, with negotiations hitting several hurdles along the way. The new contract delved into uncharted territory with various provisions, including the use of artificial intelligence and a cutting-edge streaming success bonus. While some welcomed the contract with open arms, not all members were on board with the new terms.

Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, expressed her admiration for the members’ unwavering dedication and active participation throughout the process. She lauded them for standing their ground and making their voices heard. The union now stands stronger than ever, poised to face the future head-on.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator, emphasized the members’ demands for fair compensation, protection from AI technology, fortified benefit plans, and equitable treatment. The new contract marks substantial progress in addressing these concerns and lays the groundwork for a better industry.

The negotiation process encountered numerous hurdles, including a brief pause in talks and intense debates among board members. Despite the dissent among some members, the leadership remained unwavering in their belief that the new contract represented a step in the right direction.

The entire saga unfolded like a captivating movie plot, with unforeseen twists and turns keeping everyone on tenterhooks. It was a rollercoaster ride, but in the end, the members united to make their voices heard and secure a deal that paves the way for a brighter future.

As the curtains draw to a close on this chapter, the industry can look forward to a new era of collaboration and progress, fueled by the unity and determination of SAG-AFTRA members. After all, in Hollywood, the show must go on!

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