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SAG-AFTRA Releases 129-Page Draft Agreement Amidst AI Protections Debate

In this post:

  • SAG-AFTRA releases a 129-page draft agreement, shedding light on AI protections and other critical details.
  • The agreement secures over $1 billion in compensation and benefit funding, marking significant gains for members.
  • AI protections are at the forefront, reflecting the industry’s evolving landscape and member concerns.

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has taken a significant step in the ongoing negotiations with major studios by releasing a detailed 129-page draft agreement known as a memorandum of agreement (MOA). This release follows previous summaries of the tentative deal and offers members a deeper understanding of the agreement’s intricacies, particularly in the context of artificial intelligence (AI) protections, which have emerged as a key point of contention during the voting process.

A historic move in reviewing the full draft MOA

Traditionally, SAG-AFTRA contract ratification votes rely on detailed summaries of new agreements due to the extensive time required for drafting a formal MOA. However, recognizing the historical significance of this deal, some members have requested the opportunity to review the entire draft MOA during the ratification voting period. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG chief negotiator and national executive director, acknowledged this request and provided access to the comprehensive document.

Crabtree-Ireland wasted no time in highlighting the substantial gains achieved through this agreement. He emphasized that the contracts entail over $1 billion in new compensation and benefit plan funding, with an additional $317.2 million allocated to the benefit plans. These financial gains stand as a testament to the successful negotiations.

AI protections at the forefront

In the evolving landscape of entertainment and technology, the role of AI has become increasingly significant. Crabtree-Ireland underscored that this agreement goes beyond financial aspects and establishes extensive AI guardrails. These guardrails, which did not exist previously, are designed to protect members as they navigate the challenges posed by AI in the industry. The debate around AI protections has been a focal point of discussions among SAG-AFTRA members.

Additional gains and enhancements

Beyond AI, the agreement encompasses a range of other areas where substantial gains have been made. These include addressing issues related to “hair and makeup equity,” significantly expanding background coverage, introducing more substantial streaming residuals, establishing a new streaming success fund, and various other provisions. These enhancements reflect the comprehensive nature of the agreement and its potential impact on members.

Crabtree-Ireland took a moment to express gratitude towards the members of SAG-AFTRA for their unwavering dedication throughout the 118 days of the strike. He emphasized that these hard-fought gains are contingent on members ratifying the deal, underscoring the importance of their participation in the voting process. Importantly, he noted that the MOA is not considered “final” until it receives signatures from both SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Drawing from previous agreements

To provide context and reference points, the SAG leader pointed to previous agreements, including those from 2014, as well as the modifications made in the 2017 and 2020 MOAs. These agreements serve as historical benchmarks and indicators of the industry’s evolution. Additionally, Crabtree-Ireland directed members to SAG-AFTRA’s contracts site, which offers valuable resources such as informational videos, FAQs, and other materials related to AI and the agreement.

The release of the 129-page draft agreement represents a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry. Members of SAG-AFTRA now have the opportunity to delve into the specifics of the deal, particularly regarding AI protections, which have sparked extensive debate. As they review and cast their votes, the future of AI in entertainment and the industry’s overall trajectory hang in the balance. This historic agreement has the potential to reshape the landscape of the entertainment world and safeguard the interests of its talented performers.

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