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SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal on Television Animation Contract

SAG-AFTRA has reached a three-year tentative deal with companies on TV animation work, two months after members overwhelmingly approved a strike authorization.

The union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the negotiating arm for the entertainment companies, made a joint announcement about the deal on Thursday afternoon.

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP are excited to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached covering animated programs produced for television, including network television, basic cable and streaming platforms such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime,” the statement said. “The new deal is subject to ratification by SAG-AFTRA and will continue through June 30, 2020.”

Details of the tentative agreement were not disclosed. Talks on the contract had broken off prior to the strike authorization vote and resumed last week. The SAG-AFTRA board did not disclose whether it had issued a strike authorization.

The union had asserted in July when it asked members to approve a strike authorization that the employers were refusing to provide scale wages or residuals in the fastest-growing area of animated performers’ work — animated programs made for subscription-based streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. More than 75% of those union voting members had to approve of the strike authorization for SAG-AFTRA’s national board to call a strike.

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris announced the voting results on July 18 with more than 98% of affected members approving the strike authorization. The strike authorization campaign had the backing of a number of high-profile performers, including Pamela Adlon, Ed Asner, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellanata, Nick Kroll, Laraine Newman, Patton Oswalt, Cassandra Peterson, and Mindy Sterling.

Carteris noted in June that performers had been working under TV animation agreements that expired on June 30, 2017, and that more than 20 animated series produced for initial exhibition on a subscription-based streaming platform had gone into production. Carteris also told members that because that work is not covered by the traditional terms of the union’s agreements, animation performers do not have the benefit of scale minimums when they work on these programs — and the majority will never pay residuals for any new media exhibition.

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