Could Another Hollywood Strike Be Looming as Musicians Demand Fair Contracts?
The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), representing musical artists across the entertainment industry, is set for crucial contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). This comes amidst rising concerns about the future of residual payments in streaming media, which is drastically transforming the entertainment terrain.
The AFM argues that musicians working on soundtracks earn 75 per cent less on streaming content due to reduced residual income, a situation it aims to address in the forthcoming negotiation round.
“The entertainment industry has fundamentally shifted,” the union pointed out in a press statement. Stressing that it is critical for musicians working in the streaming media sector to be compensated as per the changing industry norms.
AFM’s president and chief negotiator, Tino Gagliardi, expressed the union’s determination to ensure better working conditions and fairer pay for its members. “We’ve got to fix that, so that our folks can continue to buy diapers, pay rent, pay mortgages and have a decent wage with a decent retirement,” stated Gagliardi.
The AFM, with about 70,000 members across the United States and Canada, is not the only entertainment union facing such issues. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) also sees its contract expiring soon, and their president, Matthew Loeb, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a strike.
This development comes in the wake of long-standing strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in 2023. A possible strike by IATSE could further impact the already strained California economy and film production schedules in the aftermath of the global pandemic.
However, hope is on the horizon with AMPTP articulating optimism about the upcoming negotiations. “We look forward to productive negotiations with the Federation,” said the AMPTP, highlighting the intention to acknowledge the value appended by musicians to the film and television industry.
“We’re all in this together, and we’re all fighting for a cause,” echoed Gagliardi, voicing the sentiment of many in Hollywood as they brace for not just a showdown at the negotiation tables, but for another potential strike.
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