The International Federation of Actors (FIA) executive committee meeting today in Istanbul issued a global declaration of support for striking SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) members in the United States.
SAG-AFTRA has been on strike for 78 days against the multibillion-dollar companies represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — which include Amazon/MGM, Apple, Disney/ABC/Fox, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount/CBS, Sony, Warner Bros. Discovery (HBO), and others
This declaration of international solidarity makes it much more difficult for the struck companies to circumvent the strike by seeking to engage talent in foreign jurisdictions. FIA introduced the resolution as SAG-AFTRA continues its fight to protect performers and ensure the viability of a sustainable career. The resolution demonstrates powerful unity among FIA’s 90 member organizations worldwide, and pledges “unwavering solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.”
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said, “We are deeply grateful for this powerful show of global support from FIA, its affiliate unions and associations around the world, and all of the international labor organizations that stand with us in solidarity and on the picket lines. This Declaration sends a clear message to the studios and streamers: performers around the world stand united with SAG-AFTRA’s demands for fairness, justice, and respect. Actors everywhere will hold the line against abusive uses of artificial intelligence and economic disrespect to the creative talent that make their businesses possible.”
“The International Federation of Actors, along with its affiliates worldwide, stands united with SAG-AFTRA and its 160,000 members in their resolve to fight for a fair contract,” said FIA General Secretary Dominick Luquer. “This is not just about performers in the USA. It’s about the respect that all our members deserve the world over when they work for these media corporations. It is deeply disheartening that fundamental requests such as a fair living wage, a modern residual model for the streaming of content, and safeguards against the unfettered use of AI technology may be dismissed as unreasonable and unaffordable when considering the stratospheric salaries they are paying their executives. FIA and its affiliated unions will continue to prevent these companies from seeking to hire performers elsewhere until they acknowledge and accept these rightful claims.”
The FIA executive also issued declarations in support of the locked out Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), and Turkish Actors Union (AUT). FIA President Gabrielle Carteris and representatives of its member organizations including SAG-AFTRA, ACTRA, AUT and dozens of others will appear at a press conference in support of Turkish actors scheduled for Saturday in Istanbul.
SAG-AFTRA resumes its negotiations with the AMPTP on Oct. 2. The union has been on strike for 78 days.
The FIA declaration in Support of SAG-AFTRA follows.
SUPPORT OF THE SAG-AFTRA TELEVISION/THEATRICAL/STREAMING STRIKE
WHEREAS the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has forced SAG-AFTRA out on strike since July 14, 2023, by refusing to negotiate in good faith a new contract addressing the legitimate concerns of more than 160 000 SAG-AFTRA members, WHEREAS, their terms and conditions of employment have become unsustainable, with wages failing to keep pace with inflation and a residuals model significantly impacted by the emergence of streaming services, which have fundamentally altered the landscape of content production and distribution,
WHEREAS, SAG-AFTRA members, like all workers globally, are also facing serious threats posed by the abusive and unfettered use of AI, exposing them to job displacements and the unwelcome prospect of having to compete against virtual copies of themselves and others, without any compensation, prompting them to wage an existential battle to retain control over how their work, image, likeness and other personal features may be used,
WHEREAS a very significant number of SAG-AFTRA members currently face unemployment and financial instability, due to the despicable attitude of the AMPTP, whose member companies successfully reap billions of dollars from the content provided by those same performers they are shamefully neglecting, WHEREAS SAG-AFTRA is committed to raising standards in the film, television and streaming industry and establishing foundational and human-centric principles in a newly emerging technological landscape, thereby setting a significant precedent that will resonate across other industrial sectors as well,
WHEREAS the interim agreements signed by SAG-AFTRA with a myriad of independent producers and that reflect the proposals made by SAG-AFTRA to the AMPTP, prove that those terms are reasonable, practical and entirely acceptable,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that FIA and all its affiliates support SAG-AFTRA and its members for standing up strong against corporate greed, the attempt to undermine the value of human creativity and the legitimate right of every worker to earn a decent and living income from their professional endeavors, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that FIA and its member unions from around the world express unwavering solidarity with SAG-AFTRA and will continue to do everything possible, and for as long as necessary, to deter struck companies from attempting to circumvent the strike by seeking to engage talent in foreign jurisdictions.