The Television and Film Producers Alliance, the group that represents Hollywood studios and streamers in union negotiations, offers its side of the story about the deal the group offered SAG-AFTRA before the artists’ union went on strike.
In a 23-page document issued Friday afternoon, the AMPTP responded to SAG-AFTRA’s version of events, provided in a July 17 box of alleged union proposals and management responses. “Substantial portions of that table are misleading, either in characterizing the Producers’ offer or omitting key details,” the statement said. In its own box of SAG-AFTRA proposals and AMPTP counteroffers, the group offers its own take on the union’s requests and responses, saying the final package it offered the union on July 12 was worth more than $1 billion in compensation and benefit increases.
the hollywood reporter has contacted SAG-AFTRA for comment on the document.
One of SAG-AFTRA’s boldest proposals during their 2023 negotiations was for the cast to receive a share of streamers’ subscriber revenue “generated when their [performers’] the performances are showcased on streaming platforms.” The AMPTP states that this proposal was discussed “numerous” times and “each time, the Producers emphasized that they had fundamental objections to the Union’s proposal, and called for the proposal to be removed, as it was serving as an obstacle to reaching an agreement.” According to the group, the proposal gives artists their usual fixed residuals for broadcast projects “also a new residual that ‘participates’ in revenue that is somehow attributed to the show.” The group adds, the Union intends to ‘share’ the success, but not the failure. That’s not sharing.”
The group further claims that because the AMPTP is a group of producers (some of whom are under the same corporate umbrella as the distributors), the proposal does not “follow the money.” The AMPTP says: “The Union proposal creates a one-size-fits-all approach that ignores the relationship between program providers and exhibitors.”
On the key issue of base pay increases, the union was seeking an 11 per cent increase in year one and 4 per cent in years two and three, while the AMPTP was offering a mix of 5/4/3.5 per cent. This offer, says the AMPTP, was “historic”, arguing that “the last time the Union secured a general wage increase of 5% in any year was in 1988”. According to the AMPTP, the producers’ proposal would offer $717 million in additional salary compensation, more than double the gains in the 2020 SAG-AFTRA contract, which reportedly increased salaries by $305 million.
When it comes to the hot topic of AI, SAG-AFTRA claimed that its proposal would “establish a comprehensive set of provisions to protect work created by humans and require informed consent and fair compensation” when a member’s performance is ingested into an AI-powered system. According to the union, the AMPTP counter-offer “failed to address many vital concerns, leaving lead and supporting artists vulnerable to having much of their work replaced by digital replicas.”
The AMPTP disputed this characterization, saying it offered a “comprehensive” proposal to which the union ultimately never responded. Part of its language, the group said, required companies to obtain consent to use a “digital replica” of a background actor “other than for the film for which the
A background actor was hired.” The group also said it agreed not to use digital replicas of background actors in lieu of hiring the required number of background actors under the SAG-AFTRA contract.
As for the performers, the AMPTP argues that it agreed to require consent to create a “digital replica” of that member and to “digitally alter the performance beyond the typical alterations that have historically been made in post-production.” When a company wants to use a “digital replica” for a project other than the one the artist agreed to, “it must obtain the consent of the artist and negotiate separately,” the group said.
More to come.