The Screen Actors Guild on Thursday gave its most detailed explanation yet for its rejection of a final contract offer by Hollywood studios, citing shortfalls in pay and union jurisdiction on made-for-Internet productions.
In a letter to SAG’s 120,000 members, Doug Allen, the guild’s executive director, claimed the offer would allow nonunion actors into “almost all new media productions for the foreseeable future.”
It said the producers’ offer also would leave out residual fees paid to actors for content that is made specifically for, and then retransmitted on, the Web.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers responded with an equally detailed statement describing its Internet offer as “a major advancement” from the previous contract.
The producers have offered to mandate union coverage for Web shows that cost less than $15,000 per minute, but only if a union actor is hired. Those costing more would also be covered, regardless of who is hired.
They also offered residual payments for Internet-only shows that are rebroadcast on pay platforms like iTunes, theatrically or on television. Paid downloads of movies would trigger double the residual rate actors now receive from DVDs.
The producers have said a final offer they made June 30 was worth $250 million in additional compensation over three years, an estimate the guild disputes.
The offer mirrors those accepted by writers, directors and the smaller actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.