SAG-AFTRA Merger Means Tougher Admissions, Potentially Costlier Membership

SAG-AFTRA Merger Means Tougher Admissions, Potentially Costlier Membership

January 24 – Hollywood Reporter
By Jonathan Handel

The changes in entrance rules and initiation fees will be of great interest to current and prospective members of both unions and close off a key route to a SAG card.

AFTRA’s open door policy – which allows anyone to join the union online by paying the initiation fee – will end if SAG and AFTRA merge, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. In its place will be new SAG-AFTRA rules that primarily mirror SAG’s existing ones – a set of requirements that have made a meme out of “How do I get my SAG card?”
In addition, the price is changing: at $3,000, the new initiation fee is higher than SAG’s $2,277 or AFTRA’s $1,600, but less than the two combined.

That translates to a 23% savings for actors who would otherwise join both unions – as many do, since the overwhelming majority of new scripted television series have gone AFTRA since 2009, while movies remain a SAG-only business.

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