George Clooney and some of his higher-wage actors put together a proposal for SAG-AFTRA that would help lower-earners to help end the strike.
George Clooney may not be Batman anymore (although he technically was again once more this past year), but he will try to come to the rescue with some A-list friends in an effort to end the strike that continues to march on for SAG-AFTRA. The writers’ guild has settled with the studios since their strike started earlier in May, and many thought this meant the last shoe would also drop with the actors’ guild. This would unfortunately not be the case as the Screen Actors’ Guild failed to reach an agreement with the AMPTP after weeks of negotiations.
Variety reports that Clooney and fellow A-list actors, including Scarlett Johansson and Ben Affleck, have conceived of a proposal that they submitted to the union in hopes that it could lead to an end to the strike. Their proposal outlines two main points. One would be to increase dues for high-earning actors and change residuals to ensure that low-earning actors get paid first. The dues increase terms proposal, according to Variety, outlines that “Under current rules, SAG-AFTRA members pay $231.96 in base dues each year, plus 1.575% of covered earnings up to $1 million. The A-listers’ proposal would eliminate that cap, subjecting all covered actor earnings to the 1.575% assessment.” Drescher’s response was, “That’s kind of apples and oranges.” As for an increase in dues, she said, “does not impact the contract that we’re striking over whatsoever.”
Clooney’s second main point that aims to have lowest-earners receive their pay in residuals prior to the highest-earners also seems to be in jest. The “waterfall” system proposal was also addressed by SAG-AFTRA president, Drescher, “That was vetted by our very experienced union contract staff, negotiators and lawyers, and they said that it unfortunately doesn’t hold water,” she said. “Frankly this is a very nuanced house of cards.”
Unfortunately, these two points are effective enough to garner any change in the terms between the SAG-AFTRA union and the AMPTP. The issues would also include regulations on AI use as studios aimed to decrease the need for hiring extras. A Disney+ movie titled Prom Pact was recently called out on social media when viewers caught a horrid use of computer generated extras in a scene which resulted in some very video game-looking extras.