Sports GamingHow the AI Deal Struck Put an End to the SAG-AFTRA Strike

How the AI Deal Struck Put an End to the SAG-AFTRA Strike

Sag-Aftra Strike Ends as AI Deal Reached

Hollywood and industries, such as online gambling, manufacturing, and many others, are facing stiff competition from AI. Platforms such as Slotoro Online and many others that find themselves in the technological space are constantly evolving and benefiting from the evolution of technology. While AI technology brings plenty of advantages to whatever industry it is implemented into, the entertainment niche, especially Holywood, seems unprepared to embrace it. In fact, they are so open about their dissatisfaction with using AI in their industry that they decided to down their tools for a while.

Many people might enjoy their entertainment on NetFlix, Showmax, and other platforms without interruptions, but they don’t know that actors have been on strike. After much consultation, however, a deal between The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Hollywood studios has been struck, ending the 118-day strike.

According to a press release seen online, the union has reached a new 3-year contract valued at more than $1 billion. It also comes with an increase in minimum wages and a new “streaming participation” package, all aimed at enabling members to “build sustainable careers” and protect them from the effects of AI.

Fran Drescher, the SAG-AFTRA president who plied her trade through the hit comedy The Nanny, took to multiple social media platforms to celebrate the outcome. She said: “We did it!!!” she celebrated on Instagram. She further thanked all its members for their perseverance. “The Billion+ $ Deal! 3X the last contract! New ground was broke[n] everywhere!”

Why Were Hollywood Actors Striking?

Members of the SAG-AFTRA downed their tools in mid-July, protesting over poor work conditions. They wanted an increase in minimum salaries, a share of revenue generated via streaming, as well as protection from the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as seen in other niches.

After a 118-day strike, the union’s negotiators reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). This company represents media companies such as Walt Disney, Netflix, and Paramount.

The new contract will see an increase in wages, streaming bonuses, and more.

SAG’s new deal ensures several aspects of the actors’ jobs are taken care of. For example, all the actors will receive an increase in the basic minimum wage for the different roles they play on TV and film sets:

  • Anyone playing a speaking role will receive a 7% increase in pay starting November 9;
  • An extra 4% will be effected in July 2024, before a final rise of 2.5% in July 2025;
  • Background actors will receive an 11% increase starting November 9 while retaining the same increase as the outgoing categories;
  • Main actors will be awarded better streaming bonuses and residuals for hit movies and shows. They will receive a 100% residual bonus, although 75% will go directly to the actor’s pay;
  • The remaining 25% will be deposited into a joint fund managed by the representatives from the SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP, who will distribute the money to actors in other live-streaming shows.

The whole idea behind this is to spread wealth in the industry.

SAG-AFTRA also ensured their pensioners received new limits surrounding virtual auditions, which can be quite costly and time-consuming compared to auditions in the past. The new contract also dictates that performers are presented with the materials 48 hours in advance and have new guidelines on memorizing text.

Protection From Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Quite an Achievement

One topic that stood out during negotiations was the so-called invasion of tech – Artificial Intelligence – in the acting industry. Therefore, to protect the actors from different scenarios that might affect them in the future as a result of AI, several measures were included in the new contract. This includes compensation and consent around digital replicas designed while the actor is working on a specific project, digital modifications made to the actor’s performance, and digital replicas created outside the project’s scope.

Mixed Reactions From Hollywood

While the contract may sound like a good deal, especially regarding AI, many people seem unsatisfied with what it offers. Some actors feel more could be done and are concerned this could not do much, especially given how fast the AI industry is evolving. For example, a producer and director, Justine Bateman, took to social media to disagree with the decision. She felt the AI permissions were “violating” and was disappointed by the SAG-AFTRA leadership.

AI in Hollywood: To Be or Not to Be

While the strike by the SAG-AFTRA ended in favor of the federation, not everybody in Hollywood shared the excitement of this victory. AI is still evolving, and it might be useful in the future. However, for now, it is easy to understand the actors’ dissatisfaction.

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