George Clooney’s Proposal to End the SAG-AFTRA Strike

George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, and other top-tier actors made a proposal to the SAG-AFTRA leadership in hopes of ending the ongoing 98-day actors strike.

The proposal consisted of two primary components: a dues increase for high-earning actors and a change in residuals to ensure lower-earning actors receive payment first. Clooney estimated that this would generate $50 million annually. Nonetheless, the major issue here is that the SAG-AFTRA strike aims to increase actors’ income, not to boost the union’s funding. These two objectives are distinct and not interchangeable. Increasing union dues would not cover payments owed by studios to actors or their pension and health funds.

However, the union’s negotiating committee rejected the proposal, sticking to their established demands. The SAG-AFTRA National Board determines these dues, requiring a separate process to raise them. The union has not faced a decline in dues; it reported $127 million in revenue the previous fiscal year, reflecting a significant increase as production rebounded after the pandemic. Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA said, “That’s kind of apples and oranges, It does not impact the contract that we’re striking over whatsoever”.

According to Variety, Drescher also addressed the residual proposal in her Instagram video. “That was vetted by our very experienced union contract staff. Negotiators and lawyers, and they said that it unfortunately doesn’t hold water.”

While proposals may come from a genuine desire to end the strike. They do not align with the union’s goals and may weaken the unity needed to secure the best possible deal. Furthermore, it suggests that high-earning actors should fill the funding gap left by studios.

Rather than pressuring the studios to meet their obligations. To help resolve the situation, it was suggested that A-list actors consider joining picket lines.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

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