The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has officially ended its strike, which lasted for nearly four months, after reaching a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios. In its announcement, it said it was able to secure a contract "valued at over 1 billion dollars" and that it was able to negotiate "above-pattern" compensation increases, as well as "unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI."
In a contract valued at over one billion dollars, we have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes "above-pattern" minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI,... pic.twitter.com/lQe6snkQsY
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) November 9, 2023
The union will release more details about the agreement after its national board looks it over on Friday for "review and consideration." However, generative AI became the sticking point that prevented both parties from being able to strike a deal earlier than this. According to a previous report by The Hollywood Reporter, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) wanted to make AI scans of Schedule F performers — union members earning more than $32,000 per TV episode or $60,000 per film — which they could then keep reusing without having to pay them again. Studios could even continue using the actors' likeness after they pass away without permission from the union or from their estate. Variety says AMPTP has agreed to adjust the language it used for AI in its proposal, which then presumably led to the tentative agreement.
In September, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) also officially ended its strike after securing a deal with AI provisions it approved of. Under the terms of its new contract, studios can't use generative AI to write or rewrite literary material, and anything it produces cannot be considered source material. Studios can't force writers to use generative AI software unless they want to, and they have to disclose whether materials handed over to a writer include anything generated by AI. Finally, the "exploitation of writers' material to train AI" is explicitly prohibited.