After meeting on a Tuesday Zoom call to figure out how to end an actor’s strike that soon will stretch beyond 100 days, a group of Hollywood’s biggest stars laid out to SAG-AFTRA leaders a groundbreaking proposal that amounts to the town’s biggest earners defraying the costs to AMPTP signatories by eliminating the cap on membership dues, to be used to bolster health benefits and other areas that SAG-AFTRA is trying to shore up.
The offer would remove the $1 million cap on membership dues. In an effort to bring a residual system to streaming, the stars also have proposed a formula that would make the lowest names on the call sheet who most need the money the first to be paid. Deadline hears that SAG-AFTRA leaders brought the offer to its negotiating committee last night.
Deadline revealed Tuesday that a quorum of stars including George Clooney, Emma Stone, Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry and Scarlett Johansson met with SAG leaders including Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
Deadline spoke with Clooney, who confirmed the plan proposed by the stars.
‘A lot of the top earners want to be part of the solution,” the two-time Oscar winner told Deadline. “We’ve offered to remove the cap on dues, which would bring over $50 million to the union annually. Well over $150 million over the next three years. We think it’s fair for us to pay more into the union.
We also are suggesting a bottom-up residual structure — meaning the top of the call sheet would be the last to collect residuals, not the first. These negotiations will be ongoing, but we wanted to show that we’re all in this together and find ways to help close the gap on actors getting paid.”
There will be much more to discuss on this as SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP negotiators blame one another after the studios walked away from the bargaining table. But many see this as virtue signaling that is not helping matters when the business is shut down and below-the-line workers struggle to hang on after weathering the WGA strike, and now this one. It seems admirable that this group is willing to kick in this amount of money to move the negotiations to a close.