Someone we know who is very close to, shall we say, the top of things at SAG, checked in with some thoughts about the recent AFTRA settlement:
Well, it ain’t good, but it also ain’t horrendous – a 62% ratification, while still implementing the contract, shows its holes. AFTRA appealed to members who don’t and never will work under that contract (DJs, newscasters, etc.) to ratify, knowing that they could then poach showson cable from SAG and knowing full well that the AMPTP will use AFTRA’s contract rather than SAG’s because it benefits them financially.
SAG is up against it and will have to take what they can get. There will be no strike since I don’t think, given the current climate, that SAG could even get a strike authorization vote. And there will be no lockout, since the AMPTP can’t afford that either – both PR wise and financially.
It ain’t pretty for actors, they’re not gonna get a great deal, and AFTRA should be ashamed of themselves for doing exacty what they accused SAG of – poaching shows.
An actor quoted in the LA Times, Rondell Sheridan, worked under both SAG and AFTRA contracts at Disney – same character spun off a SAG show into a show with an AFTRA contract. Same hours, same work load, same character and guess what? Not nearly the money or benefits.
AFTRA doesn’t do well by its members who work cable and the A-listers who have been pushing the contract haven’t worked under an AFTRA (or SAG) contract for years – their deals are unique.
So, the AFTRA contract isn’t great and SAG has to bargain off those numbers, but I do believe this will be resolved without a walkout or lockout and no one will be happy except for the AMPTP who will make more money.