Officially putting an end to the actors’ strike, SAG-AFTRA Ratifies a 3-Year Contract With Studios.

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As per the talking points, SAG-AFTRA members have voted to ratify their new contract, officially ending the longest labor battle in Hollywood history. The contract was approved with 78% voting in favor, and the turnout was 38%. The agreement was reached after nearly four months of strike with the major studios. The deal provides a 7% increase in minimum rates in the first year of the contract and a $40 million residual bonus for actors on streaming shows. This is a historic gain for performers, and it marks the dawning of a new era for the industry, as per Fran Drescher, the union’s president.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios in bargaining, issued a statement applauding the vote. According to the AMPTP spokesperson, the new contract represents historic gains and protections for performers. With this vote, the industry and the jobs it supports will be able to return in full force. The deal also includes regulations around self-taped auditions, online casting platforms, and hair and makeup tailored for diverse actors, among many other provisions.

The new contract also provides the first-ever protections against the use of artificial intelligence to replicate performances. Under the agreement, actors must consent to being replicated, and the intended use of the AI performance must be spelled out in “reasonably specific” terms. However, for some actors, the language did not go far enough to allay their fears of being replaced by AI. The contract does not prohibit studios from training AI on actors’ images to create “synthetic” performers who bear no resemblance to any real-life actor.

The union had sought to give itself a veto over such use, but the studios refused, agreeing only to give the union notice. The deal also provides that if any “synthetic” performer includes a recognizable facial feature of a real actor, that actor must consent to that use. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s chief negotiator, has spent much of the last few weeks answering members’ concerns about the AI provisions. He has repeatedly conceded that the agreement is not “perfect,” but argued that it was the best deal the union could make with the leverage it had.

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