SAG-AFTRA Approves Historic Deal with Netflix

Netflix is one of the world’s largest producers of movies and TV shows. As a subscription streaming video distributor, how the service’s productions fit into the traditional Hollywood labor equation sometimes left more questions than answers.

Now, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing film and television actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors and other media professionals, has approved a contract with Netflix covering all live-action productions.

The first-of-its-kind deal between the union and SVOD pioneer recognizes “motion capture” technology as covered work and includes coverage of dubbing, which applies to Netflix’s foreign-language live-action and animated motion pictures dubbed into English.

“Netflix recognizes the value of working with SAG-AFTRA members, and the contributions we make in this global industry,” Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA president, said in a statement. “I am gratified that this groundbreaking deal achieved longstanding member goals in particular the recognition of performance capture work, and other important improvements that members want and deserve.”

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Netflix, which has operated under the union’s standard labor agreement, also follows its own “Respect at Netflix” work program that put an emphasis on gender, race and sexual orientation equality in the workplace and on movie and TV show productions.

The new agreement with SAG-AFTRA sets minimum salary and turnaround provisions to all Netflix programs; concessions for consecutive employment for guest stars and day performers employed on episodic series; how to pay residuals for movies produced under the union’s theatrical contract that are exhibited on Netflix.

In addition, stunt performers will no longer have adjustments made in determining eligibility for overtime for episodic productions. The deal also puts new limitations on advancing pay residuals.

“We are pleased that we were able to work with SAG-AFTRA to address these issues unique to Netflix’s production needs and we commend SAG-AFTRA leadership for its creative approach,” added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

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