George Clooney, Tyler Perry and other A-list actors have put forward an important proposal to try to help resolve the months-long actors’ strike.
After meeting via Zoom with SAG-AFTRA union leadership on Tuesday, Clooney and more than a dozen other high-profile and well-paid members proposed changes that include removing the $1 million cap on membership dues to help bridge the gap in contract negotiations with major studios. A source familiar with the proposal told CNN.
The changes will result in higher earners contributing more to membership dues each year which could boost the union’s funding of health benefits.
The news was first published by Delivery time.
Emma Stone, Ben Affleck and Scarlett Johansson, along with Clooney and Perry, were among the prominent union members who met with union leaders Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
CNN has reached out to SAG-AFTRA for comment.
Clooney told Deadline they wanted to help end the strike.
“A lot of high-income earners want to be part of the solution.” Clooney told the outlet. “We have offered to remove the dues cap, which would bring the union more than $50 million annually. More than $150 million over the next three years. We believe it is fair for us to pay more to the union. We are also proposing a residual structure of Bottom up, meaning the top of the call sheet will be the last to collect the scraps, 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 bridge the gap in actors getting paid.
Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA, later commented on the proposal in the video Shared on Instagram.
“I want to thank some of the most influential members in this work for the tremendous amount of money they have contributed to our organization,” Drescher said. “I would also like to thank George Clooney for organizing this motion [to] Remove dues caps so higher-paid members can contribute more.
Drescher called the offer “very generous,” but explained that it would not be legally possible.
“We are a federally regulated labor union and the only contributions that can go to our retirement and health funds have to be from the employer. So what we are fighting for in terms of benefits has to stay in this contract,” Drescher said.
The proposal comes about a week after the studios pulled out of talks with the union.
Contract negotiations broke down on October 11, with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) suspending discussions because they were “no longer moving” forward in a “productive direction.”
The studios and SAG-AFTRA are negotiating revenue sharing and policies regarding the use of artificial intelligence, among other issues.
The strike has been continuing since July 14.
“We at the union and with the bargaining committee are still waiting for the CEOs to return to the table so we can continue our conversations,” Drescher said in her post on Thursday. “Whether by saying no or walking away from the table, you’re not actually in a negotiation.”