SAG-AFTRA has been and remains ready to finalize the development of a waiver that will help AEA members survive the shutdown while preserving SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction.
We wrote you earlier this week regarding an emerging jurisdictional issue between SAG-AFTRA and our sister union, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). The SAG-AFTRA National Board met Thursday in a special meeting and unanimously approved a resolution reaffirming the union’s historic and traditional jurisdiction in recording or broadcast of live theater productions.
SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction is clear: We cover recorded and broadcast media in all their forms. That means movies, television, new media, commercials, radio, music and sound recordings, and digital content, whether recorded or delivered live. In essence, all live media or recorded media falls under our historical and traditional jurisdiction.
The pandemic has created challenges for all of us in the creative arts and we are particularly mindful of the needs of our sister unions in the live theater sector. The National Board further confirmed SAG-AFTRA’s willingness to grant a waiver to AEA during the pandemic period, permitting AEA to cover recording and streaming of live theater productions by traditional AEA signatories, subject to reasonable limitations and an acknowledgement of jurisdiction, on terms consistent with those set forth in the draft waiver presented to them.
AEA has not been agreeable to recognizing SAG-AFTRA's traditional jurisdiction, presenting a serious challenge to our ability to provide broad waivers to support the members of AEA. Thus, the National Board has directed SAG-AFTRA counsel to conduct an investigation of AEA’s activities seeking to poach SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction, with a particular emphasis on its “Media Committee” and the many agreements it has made for so-called “remote” work that falls squarely within SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction, taking thousands of days of work from performers who should have been working under SAG-AFTRA contracts.
We want to be very clear in this point: SAG-AFTRA has been and remains ready to finalize the development of this waiver that will help AEA members survive the shutdown while preserving SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction. For more information visit SAG-AFTRA's #WeMakeStreaming page here.
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director