Netflix has signed SAG-AFTRA’s film and TV contract. Up until now, Netflix had a deal with the union on a production-by-production basis, but now SAG-AFTRA has an overall agreement with the streaming giant for live-action dramatic productions.
The first-of-its-kind deal between the two sides was unveiled Saturday, and recognizes performance capture as covered work and includes coverage of dubbing, which applies to all of Netflix’s foreign-language live-action and animated motion pictures dubbed into English.
The deal includes the same harassment protections contained in the guild’s Network Code and commercials contracts, and bans auditions in private residences and hotel rooms.
“Netflix has set the industry standard with its Respect at Netflix program that is held as the gold standard in the industry for awareness of gender equality and promoting the participation of all regardless of gender, ethnicity or race,” the union said in a statement today.
The new deal, which with a few exceptions, follows the union’s Codified Basic Agreement and Television Agreements, was overwhelmingly approved today by the national board at its one-day video conference plenary. The agreement expires on June 30, 2022.
“We are always looking to adapt and grow within the changing environment of our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “This groundbreaking agreement speaks to that. Netflix recognizes the value of working with SAG-AFTRA members, and the contributions we make in this global industry. I am gratified that this deal achieved longstanding member goals, in particular the recognition of performance capture work, and other important improvements that members want and deserve.”
“We are pleased that we were able to work with SAG-AFTRA to address these issues unique to Netflix’s production needs,” added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
“I want to salute the contracts staff led by chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez for its incredible work on this historic agreement,” said SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White. “As Netflix continues to ramp up its series and feature film production, it can do so more efficiently under this bilateral agreement, which provides enhanced terms and protections for all our members.”
Additional highlights of the contract include:
• Minimum salary and turnaround provisions shall now be applicable to all Netflix programs regardless of whether they trigger the “high budget SVOD” thresholds, an important breakthrough for performers.
• Netflix has recognized that performances recorded using performance capture technology is covered work with all the protections of any other type of performance, subject to a mutual reservation with respect to fully animated motion pictures.
• Concessions in the area of consecutive employment for guest stars and day performers employed on episodic series.
• All Netflix dubbing for foreign language live-action and animated motion pictures dubbed into English in the United States to be done under a union agreement with improved terms.
• The agreement covers how to pay residuals for motion pictures that were produced under a SAG-AFTRA theatrical contract that are exhibited on Netflix.
• Stunt performers will no longer have adjustments considered in determining their eligibility for overtime for episodic productions.
• “Historic” new limitations on the ability to advance pay residuals.
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