Transcript: Actors and Their Digital Replicas: Hollywood’s Deal Explained
'Picard' star Michelle Hurd and actor Kevin E. West, in the room when SAG-AFTRA cut its deal, break down what the everyday performer should know about protections
Sean McNulty (00:33):
Hey everybody, this is Sean McNulty from The Wakeup newsletter here at The Ankler here on the Jersey Shore on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 15th. A bit of a special edition of The Ankler Podcast. I'm joined by Elaine Low in Los Angeles. And now that SAG-AFTRA has made a deal with the Hollywood's major studios and streamers, that's currently out to the Union's 160,000-plus membership for approval, and votes are due in by Tuesday, December 5th. While we don't have the full deal, we do have a lot of pertinent details in a summary that the Guild put out, especially around AI protections and a new streaming residuals structure. Elaine, can actors dress up as Oompa-Loompa's next Halloween, or is that yay or nay? Was that in the deal?
Elaine Low (01:10):
I believe it is back on the table. SAG members can dress up to their heart's desire like Timothée Chalamet or anyone.
Sean McNulty (01:19):
Whatever you want. I mean, let's get to the real important stuff here, Elaine. But you did a sit down this week with two members of the Guilds Negotiating Committee to really dive into the particulars of what's in this agreement. So, Elaine, what do you got?
Elaine Low (01:30):
Right. So, after SAG's big press conference last week, I got a chance to talk to SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. That's on a separate pod if folks want to listen. But really got to drill down into the nitty-gritty with two of the Guild's Negotiating Committee members, Michelle Hurd, who is known for Star Trek: Picard and Blindspot, as well as Kevin E. West. They're both longtime actors, have been part of the Negotiating Committee cycles before. Really wanted to offer up an understanding of some of the key issues that will impact membership, especially AI, which is an enormous part of the discussion, and this new streaming residual structure. And so, they were breaking down some of that for me as well as some other issues that weren't really headline issues but impact the journeyman performer. For anyone interested in really just drilling down on some of these issues it's a good listen.
Sean McNulty (02:27):
There's a lot of details, which I'm sure you get into, so why don't we go to the interview? Here is Michelle Hurd and Kevin E. West from the SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee.
Elaine Low (02:39):
All right. We are now a couple days out from SAG having announced a deal. How are you both feeling? Both of you are Negotiating Committee members, you've been in this for the long haul. It's been a long couple of months for the industry. Michelle, how are you feeling?