SAG-AFTRA defends temporary filming contracts after facing criticism for allowing work during strike

SAG-AFTRA defends the decision to allow production of independent projects during the strike, believing it would create competitive pressure on AMPTP to end the strike. Temporary production contracts apply only to completely independent companies. Independent studios could become AMPTP’s main competitors, which could lead to early negotiations and give SAG-AFTRA an edge.

SAG-AFTRA defended their decision to enter into temporary contracts for the production after criticism they received for allowing actors to work on independent projects during the strike. The SAG-AFTRA strike against AMPTP has been going on for two weeks now as Hollywood actors fight for fairer wages, streaming quotas and AI regulation in the film industry. However, SAG-AFTRA allowed some independent films and programs to resume production during the strike. These include TV shows like Angel Studios’ Chosen Ones and movies starring actors like Jenna Ortega and Mark Wahlberg.

Now, according to Deadline, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee has responded to criticism over their decision to allow temporary production deals during the actors’ strike. The union defended its decisions, saying that by allowing independent film companies to continue producing their projects, it would create “competitive pressure” on AMPTP member studios. Below is part of the SAG-AFTRA declaration:

“Some suggest that the Interim Agreement may extend the strike, but we do not agree. We believe the leverage created by increasing competitive pressure on AMPTP and denying them what they want most will force them back to the negotiating table and help end this strike.

Capi’, we are concerned that our temporary agreement may result in the creation of content for distribution to companies participating in the strike. We are confident that the terms of this agreement, especially the streaming revenue share, will make it impossible for these projects to be distributed through AMPTP platforms until a nationwide agreement is reached.”

The SAG-AFTRA statement further explains that their temporary manufacturing arrangements only apply to fully independent AMPTP companies. The temporary production agreement also includes actors receiving the same production benefits that SAG-AFTRA seeks to receive from AMPTP. The Negotiating Committee clarified that because of these factors, allowing independent films and programs to continue to be produced is an important strategy to reach fair negotiations with AMPTP.

SAG-AFTRA provides independent project production permits that may be required to counter the current direction of AMPTP studios. Many Hollywood studios are hiring expensive AI experts, including Netflix and Disney, indicating that AMPTP will not stop using AI in future films. This means that independent studios like A24 and Angel Studios could become serious competitors for AMPTP studios in the future as more and more actors start working with them on various projects.

With the strike postponing screenings like Bunker Season 2 and movies like Deadpool 3, studios can reach out to actors ahead of time to ensure big shows and big-budget films continue to be produced. While it’s unclear how much competition indie films can bring, SAG-AFTRA can apparently approve as many small projects as it wants. In fact, this could give SAG-AFTRA an advantage in negotiations with AMPTP if the approval of independent plans to restart production proves successful.

Source: Timing

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