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Netflix Closes Deal with SAG-AFTRA

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Netflix may be on the outs with the Writers Guild, but has had better luck in its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA. The SAG-AFTRA National Board just approved resoundingly a new contract with the streamer. The contract will now go to members for a ratification vote.

A key provision is a relaxation of exclusivity rules to permit series regulars to work on other projects. Netlix series are frequently given short orders of six to ten episodes. This puts an economic squeeze on performers who could currently be prohibited from taking other work while under contract to Netflix. The new provision is intended to relieve some of that pressure. Netflix also agreed to include Spanish dubbing under SAG-AFTRA jurisdiction and to provide fixed residual payment guarantees to stunt coordinators.

The first agreement between SAG-AFTRA and Netflix was reached in 2019. It was a standalone agreement between the two parties. In the meantime, Netflix joined the AMPTP, which represents producers in bargaining the agreements that govern most film and television production. As a condition of the current deal, Netflix agreed to join the AMPTP bargaining unit and negotiate side-by-side with the studios.

The SAG-AFTRA basic agreements come up for renegotiation next year. Streaming residuals are expected to be a major negotiating issue.

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