Interim Agreements Cause SAG-AFTRA Strike Controversy

sag-aftra interim waivers

Two weeks after SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA in an historic double-strike, the actor’s union is now divided due to Interim Agreements which have allowed certain independent productions to continue filming.

Sarah Silverman and other known name talent have spoken out against these “waivers.” Even Viola Davis, who received an interim allowance to continue shooting her project decided to not continue with filming.

“I love this movie, but I do not feel that it would be appropriate for this production to move forward during the strike,” said the EGOT winner in a statement obtained exclusively by Deadline. “I appreciate that the producers on the project agree with this decision. JuVee Productions and I stand in solidarity with actors, SAG/AFTRA and the WGA.”

SAG-AFTRA released the following in hopes of clearing the issue:

We understand the concern that our Interim Agreement may produce content for struck companies to distribute. We are confident that the terms of this agreement, particularly the streaming revenue share, will make distribution of these projects through AMPTP platforms unfeasible, until such time as an industrywide agreement has been reached. 

Prior to the start of TV/Theatrical/Streaming negotiations, your Negotiating Committee made the decision to allow producers, who may otherwise fall within the scope of the strike order, to apply for an Interim Agreement. Make no mistake, we are striking the AMPTP companies only, not independent productions that abide by the terms of our Interim Agreement. It behooves us to make this strategic move. 

The Interim Agreement gives many of our journeyman performers and crews the opportunity to pay their rent and feed their families. This approach maintains our strength, solidarity and upper hand with the AMPTP until they yield to the deal we deserve. See a full list of permissible work here

The Interim Agreement is not a waiver. To be clear, it is a contract that includes all terms and conditions for producers looking to employ our members on their specific independent productions.

The union thoroughly vets and approves each and every project seeking an Interim Agreement. Regardless of the size of the budget or the renown of the cast, these projects have been confirmed to be separate from the AMPTP and entirely independent, except for in extraordinary circumstances mandated by legal considerations, such as Tehran. It is important to note that the terms of the Interim Agreement have been designed by our Negotiating Committee and the Contracts Department to reflect the terms we are bargaining for in negotiations. The independent producers must agree to all of the terms, without exception, including the very proposals that the AMPTP rejected.

This Interim Agreement was created for several reasons, all of which are aimed at protecting the interests of our members, helping them successfully navigate the strike and demonstrating to the AMPTP that other producers are eager to work with our members under these terms.

The Interim Agreement ensures that our members are able to work for these non-struck companies.

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