SAG-AFTRA deal includes a $40 million streaming bonus and AI protections

After the union's national board voted to approve the tentative deal, members will vote to ratify it starting November 14.

Mike Blake / reuters

SAG-AFTRA has released more information about its tentative deal with Hollywood studio executives ahead of ratification votes starting on Tuesday. The actors’ union announced the agreement on November 8, bringing to an end a nearly four-month-long strike.

Under the deal, actors would get three wage increases between the time of ratification and July 2025: a 7 percent bump right away, followed by a 4 percent increase in July 2024 and 3.5% in July 2025. For background actors, there will be a wage increase of 11 percent as of November 12, followed by 4 percent and 3.5% increases in July 2024 and July 2025, respectively.

It also secures a bonus for some members whose work has landed on streaming platforms, albeit it much smaller than the union demands initially called for. According to Variety, there will be a bonus fund amounting to $40 million a year for the deal’s three-year term to be paid out to actors on top of their normal streaming residuals. But to be eligible, the show or movie in question must meet certain criteria of “success,” which will only work out to be “a thimble worth of shows on these platforms,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in a press conference on Friday.

Regarding studios’ use of artificial intelligence, the deal would require “informed consent and compensation for the creation and use of digital replicas of our members, living and deceased, whether created on set or licensed for use.” It also establishes higher contributions toward SAG-AFTRA workers’ health and retirement benefits, and aims to put an end to longstanding practices in hair and makeup that actors of color have called out as racist, like “inappropriate wiggings and paintdowns.” The deal would also require the use of intimacy coordinators for sex scenes and those involving nudity, or if an actor otherwise requests it.

The SAG-AFTRA National Board approved the deal with 86 percent of votes in its favor, and now members will get their chance to weigh in. The voting period for ratification will open on Tuesday, November 14 and run until December 5.