By Yohana Desta. Photos: Getty Images.
On Tuesday, the Writers Guild of American and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers successfully negotiated a new, three-year contract deal, side-stepping a writers strike that could have had chaotic results on the TV industry. So, what comes next? It’s time to move on to the actors, of course.
The acting union SAG-AFTRA will soon meet with the A.M.P.T.P. to negotiate its own new three-year contract.
“There are a lot of the same issues—pay rates for new media, options and exclusivity issues that hold film actors to future deals, and SVOD [subscription video on demand] residuals,” a [source told](http://deadline.com/2017/05/sag-aftras-contract-talks-issues-residuals-1202081859/) Deadline. In addition “they’re going to be focusing on working actors.”
During a stressful few weeks of nearly failed meetings and negotiations, the W.G.A. was intent on getting higher pay for TV writers—who are more in demand than ever thanks to the proliferation of new programs—as well as higher contributions to its health fund. SAG-AFTRA’s health fund is in good shape relative to that of the W.G.A., Deadline notes, which means that union’s negotiations likely won’t be as fraught.
Even so, the era of Peak TV has also had a strong impact on working actors. SAG-AFTRA will be looking to secure better arrangements for actors who land recurring roles without signing a series deal. The lack of a deal likely affects both actors' wages and their ability to explore other acting opportunities.
Union actors don’t have the same rich history of striking as W.G.A. writers do. However, SAG-AFTRA has been on strike against the video-game industry since last October, in what is quickly becoming one of the longest strikes in Hollywood history—beaten only by the seven-month studio union strike in 1945, and the 183-day 2007-08 writers strike.
And though it might not come into play, SAG-AFTRA has made headlines recently, thanks to alleged misconduct and financial mishandling. In April, former SAG president, actor Ed Asner, and eight other SAG heads accused the union’s leaders of mishandling foreign royalties and residuals, according to Variety, echoing a similar claim that was made in 2013. They followed up by threatening union leaders with a lawsuit that claims about $1 billion is being withheld. Union president Gabrielle Carteris called the claims “frivolous” and a distraction that puts “members at risk on the eve of our most important contract negotiations.” An outside counsel has since been tapped to examine the claims. SAG-AFTRA’s current contract expires on July 1.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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