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ACTRA settlement on hold as US studios object to terms

The two sides of the Canadian actor's strike reached a tentative agreement on Friday afternoon, only to face yet another hurdle. Major Hollywood studios are reportedly balking at the agreed-upon internet residuals laid out in the pending deal.
February 19, 2007

The two sides of the Canadian actor’s strike reached a tentative agreement on Friday afternoon, only to face yet another hurdle. Major Hollywood studios are reportedly balking at the agreed-upon internet residuals laid out in the pending deal.

After weeks of negotiations, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association (CFTPA) agreed to a new contract, subject to ratification. Under the proposed deal ACTRA members would earn a 9% wage increase over three years, plus a 1% rise in retirement benefits in the first year.
On the new media front, producers would pay producers would pay Canadian actors their full daily rate for a first six-months use period, followed by 3.6% of gross distribution revenues for continued streaming of their performances in webisodes and other made-for-new media product. For old media converted to new media use, the actors would receive a similar percentage of distribution revenues, this time from the first dollar.

However, according to our sister online publication , the deal may be stymied by US executives who fear that the online portion of the deal could set a precedent for upcoming talks between the Writer’s Guild of America and US producers.

The strike action by 21,000 ACTRA members started on January 8 and has caused delays on live-action and animated Canadian productions. In the kids sphere, independent production houses such as Breakthrough Entertainment and CCI Entertainment were looking at contingency plans to keep schedules on track, despite the temporary unavailability of voice talent the strike caused.

Both parties still believe a deal is close, and that internet-fee fears on the part of the US majors can be alleviated with further negotiation. However, until a mutually agreeable contract is executed, the strike will remain in effect. With files from Playback Daily

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com