The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists has negotiated a $936,000 settlement for more than 120 dancers, singers and actors for use of their performances in the “Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show” DVDs.
The settlement for performers and their heirs covers performances in the 28 DVDs that have been released to date and in two infomercials.
AFTRA said the settlement will also be applied to AFTRA health insurance as well as earned enhanced pension benefits.
The union said it learned of the DVD series when one of the dancers from the show saw an infomercial at 3 a.m., leading to review of the series that ran 1965-74.
“The detective work by the performers to identify as many other performers as possible who appear in the DVDs was invaluable,” said David Besbris, AFTRA Los Angeles local director of television. Besbris directed the case against Greg Garrison Prods., the original producer of the “Dean Martin Variety Show.”
An arbitrator ruled last May that the company had violated the AFTRA Network Code contract by failing to obtain AFTRA consent before using the clips and that the company was required to pay a fee to every performer for each DVD in which they appeared. The arbitrator did not state what program fee to use and ordered that AFTRA and the company negotiate a fee.
AFTRA said the settlement is the second largest it’s ever negotiated.