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Actors are Striking for a Number of Reasons
Higher pay: Actors want an 11% raise to baseline rates this year and an 8% raise over the next two years. They say that their pay has not kept up with the cost of living, especially in light of inflation.
Fairer residuals: Actors want to be paid more for their work when their movies and TV shows are streamed on platforms like Netflix and Hulu. They say that the current residual structure is outdated and unfair.
Protections from AI: Actors are concerned about the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry. They want to ensure that AI is not used to replace actors or to exploit their work.
In addition to these specific demands, actors are also striking to make a broader statement about the value of their work. They say that the entertainment industry relies on their creativity and talent, but they are not being compensated fairly for their contributions. The strike is still ongoing, and it is unclear when it will end. However, actors have said that they are committed to fighting for their rights and for a more equitable industry.
The strike initiated by SAG-AFTRA in 2023
What the SAG-AFTRA Does
SAG-AFTRA, an acronym for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is a prominent labor union in the United States that represents a wide range of professionals in the entertainment industry. Formed in 2012 through the merger of two long-standing unions, SAG and AFTRA, this organization plays a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and interests of performers in film, television, radio, and various other media platforms. With a rich history and a diverse membership, SAG-AFTRA’s activities encompass negotiating contracts, advocating for workplace conditions, providing member services, and ensuring that actors and media artists receive fair compensation and recognition for their work.
One of the primary functions of SAG-AFTRA is collective bargaining. The union negotiates contracts with producers, studios, and broadcasters on behalf of its members. These contracts establish the terms and conditions under which performers work, including wages, hours, benefits, and other crucial aspects of employment. By negotiating collectively, SAG-AFTRA can leverage the strength of its membership to secure better working conditions and compensation than individual actors might be able to achieve on their own. These contracts also address issues like residuals, which are payments actors receive when their work is rerun or distributed in various formats.
Furthermore, SAG-AFTRA is involved in enforcing these contracts. They have dedicated staff who monitor productions to ensure compliance with union agreements. If a violation occurs, the union takes action to rectify the situation, often through arbitration or legal means, to protect the rights of its members.