×

Thesp unions OK deal

SAG, AFTRA vote 97% for film-TV pact

HOLLYWOOD — The curtain has come down anticlimactically on this year’s Hollywood labor wars, with members of the two major actors unions giving the new film-TV deal a 97% endorsement.

The contract, which is retroactive to July 1 and runs through June 30, 2004, received 36,876 yes votes and 1,232 no votes, with 55 ballots declared invalid. The voting represented 30% of the 130,292 ballots mailed out three weeks ago to paid-up members of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, far above the 22% participation level in 1998.

“We are delighted the SAG and AFTRA members recognized the many key improvements in this package, which will undoubtedly put more money in the pockets of middle-class members,” SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said.

Hollywood had been fearful of possible back-to-back strikes by writers and actors, but those concerns for the most part evaporated following the announcement of a Writers Guild deal in early May.

Approval slam dunk

SAG-AFTRA voting ended Friday, but approval had been expected as scant opposition emerged following the July 3 announcement of a tentative pact.

Key gains for actors include the following:

  • Minimums rise 3% in the first two years and 3.5% in the third.

  • Fox Network residuals rise to 80% of the level for the Big Three in the first year, 90% in the second and 100% in the third.

  • Foreign TV residuals are uncapped when sales thresholds are met.

  • Pension and health contributions are increased to 13.5% in the first two years before declining to 13%.

  • Basic cable residuals rise 13% through a revamp of P&H contributions.

  • P&H coverage begins on Internet work.

  • Movies-on-demand residuals will be paid using the pay TV formula.

  • Gains in fees are realized for stunt coordinators and guest stars.

  • Buyout fees for movies will rise.

SAG has not valued out the contract (under the old agreement, members’ reported earnings totaled $1.04 billion last year), but Krizman said the increase will be at least $123 million, or three times the WGA’s increase. “With any type of improvement in the entertainment economy, we’ll surpass that figure,” he added.

SAG prexy William Daniels, citing gains in guest star fees, Fox and cable residuals, said in a message to members, “I can happily say that my principal promise of putting more money into your pockets has come about.”

The next major negotiation will be AFTRA’s network code contract, which is the org’s largest and covers all work done except for primetime on ABC, NBC and CBS. The current pact expires Nov. 15, with negotiations due to start Oct. 16.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • AtmosphereThe Current State of Play in

    New York’s PlayStation Theater to Close (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits. The theater, which is located two stories beneath the [...]

  • Courtesy of Earwolf

    How Lauren Lapkus Tossed the Script and Created a Podcasting Hit

    Lauren Lapkus has tossed the script on what makes most podcasts a hit. At a time when many of the most downloaded shows are true crime investigations or celebrity interviews, she’s doing something entirely different on each episode of “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus.” Each hour-long installment is a free-wheeling, completely improvised ride. One show [...]

  • WWE NXT

    WWE's 'NXT' Moves to USA Network as Wrestling Competition Heats Up

    WWE has struck a deal to move its “NXT” franchise focusing on rising stars to USA Network starting next month. “NXT” will shift to USA from the WWE Network subscription streaming service as of Sept. 18. The deal comes as USA is about to lose WWE’s “SmackDown” showcase to Fox starting in October. USA is [...]

  • Shazam

    Apple Music Launches 'Shazam Discovery' Chart, Focused on New Artists

    Apple Music today launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. While the company wouldn’t say much specifically about how the chart is tabulated, it uses “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view [...]

  • The Chainsmokers Production Company

    Chainsmokers’ Catalog Acquired by Fast-Growing Hipgnosis Songs

    The Chainsmokers’ writer and publishing rights have been acquired by the fast-growing Hipgnosis Songs and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today. The company has acquired 100% of the Chainsmokers’ interest in 32 of the duo’s songs, including ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) income in [...]

  • Hollywood Recession Business Placeholder

    How an Economic Downturn Could Ravage Hollywood

    Trade-war fears, stock market volatility and, most recently, bond market signals that point to a pending recession are rattling investors, igniting concerns that another devastating downturn may be just around the corner. As those worries reverberate all the way from Wall Street to Hollywood, the entertainment industry is in for an unsettling reminder of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content