George Clooney and some of the big Hollywood stars share a groundbreaking proposal to SAG-AFTRA leaders as the strike nears its 100th day.
After a Zoom meeting aimed at finding a solution to an actor’s strike that’s dangerously close to hitting the 100-day mark, George Clooney and a group of Hollywood’s A-listers put forth a groundbreaking proposal to SAG-AFTRA leaders.
Their innovative plan involves the heavyweights of Hollywood chipping in to cover costs for AMPTP signatories by doing away with the membership dues cap.
The idea is to channel these funds towards bolstering health benefits and addressing other areas that SAG-AFTRA is currently working hard to fortify.
The heart of this proposal lies in the removal of the $1 million cap on membership dues.
Additionally, in an effort to bring more fairness to the realm of streaming, these stars have suggested a formula.
This formula prioritizes those actors further down the call sheet who genuinely need the money by making them the first to receive payments.
Deadline reports that SAG-AFTRA leaders took this offer to their negotiation committee recently.
Clooney, a prominent figure in this effort, expressed the sentiment of many top earners: “A lot of the top earners want to be part of the solution,” Clooney 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.”
The discussions surrounding this proposal will undoubtedly continue as SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP negotiators engage in what has become a rather tense exchange.
Some perceive this move by the star-studded group as a form of virtue signaling. It might not be particularly helpful when the industry remains at a standstill.
Below-the-line workers are struggling after enduring the WGA strike and now this one.
The SAG-AFTRA television and theatrical negotiating committee responded to the proposal with a letter to its members.
“We’re grateful that a few of our most successful members have engaged to offer ideas and support,” the letter read.
The idea of stars raising their own dues “is worthy of consideration, but it is in no way related to and would have no bearing on this present contract or even as a subject of collective bargaining,” it stated.
“It is, in fact, prohibited by Federal labor law. For example, our Pension and Health plans are funded exclusively from employer contributions. It also doesn’t speak to the scale of the overall package.”
Nevertheless, it’s commendable that this group is willing to contribute such a substantial amount to help bring these negotiations to a resolution.
Banner photo by Michael Vlasaty via Wikimedia Commons.