The Animation Guild and management’s AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year film and TV contract, although an actors’ strike against the TV animation industry is still a possibility. Members of SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly in July to authorize a strike if their negotiators failed to reach a satisfactory agreement, although contract talks resumed last week. The key sticking point in those talks has been SAG-AFTRA’s demand for scale wages and residuals for shows aired on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. Neither SAG-AFTRA nor the AMPTP would comment on the status of those talks.
Terms of the deal between the AMPTP and the Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, haven’t been made public, but they’re believed to be in line with those achieved recently by IATSE’s 13 West Coast studio locals, whose members will soon be voting to ratify their new own separate deal.
One of the Animation Guild’s goals going into the talks was pay equity for color stylists, the animation industry’s only predominantly female craft, whose artists set the look, lighting and palette of cartoons. More than 2,600 industry figures had signed a petition calling for pay equity for color stylists – part of the industry’s growing movement for pay equity for historically female crafts.
A source told Deadline that the Animation Guild “did achieve some meaningful gains for color stylists,” including an official title change to “color designer” and an accelerated progression to the higher-paid journeyman pay rate, which was two years but has now been reduced to one year. “Pay equity however, was not achieved, therefore members of this craft will continue to work towards this goal in conjunction with other IATSE locals experiencing gender inequity in their contracts,” the source said.
A three-day symposium spotlighting female contributions in the field of animation and exploring solutions to sexual harassment, bias and the lack of diversity in the industry will be held Oct. 5-7 at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. The event – called “Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future” – is being organized by Women in Animation, USC, UCLA and CalArts.