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    Writers strike update | Impact in Georgia

    The film industry will remain all but shut down until SAG-AFTRA reaches their own agreement after a two-month strike.

    ATLANTA — Writers’ union members are waiting to vote on a new contract after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the union came to a tentative deal over the weekend. However, the industry will remain all but shut down until the actors’ union reaches their own agreement after a two-month strike

    The Writers Guild of America gave a tentative green light to a new contract over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean the movie industry is out of the red.

    “I’m very encouraged by what happened recently with the WGA and the progress that they’ve made to achieve a tentative agreement, but as far as production is concerned, SAG-AFTRA is still on strike, and so the industry is still essentially shut down,” SAG-AFTRA Atlanta President Eric Goins said.

    Goins is on the negotiating team with the actors’ union and spent six weeks in Los Angeles this summer trying to reach a deal with studio executives. 

    “SAG-AFTRA proposals are surrounding minimum compensation,” Goins said. “That includes a revenue sharing proposal, as well as AI, artificial intelligence securities.”

    Goins said SAG-AFTRA negotiations aren’t all black and white. There are lots of moving parts to bring the film industry in Georgia and across the country back into color.

    “Georgia did $4.1 billion worth of production last fiscal year, and that included two months of the WGA strike within those numbers,” Goins said.

    Not only has SAG-AFTRA actor Steve Coulter appeared in movies such as the “Conjuring” and “Insidious” series, but he’s also been out of work as a union writer. 

    “I was Tyler Perry’s head writer,” Coulter said. “I have a script for a pilot I wrote. It’s gotten a bunch of interest, and we couldn’t talk. You literally can’t talk to anyone about it.” 

    It’s not all bad news. Some productions can start while union actors remain on strike. 

    “SAG-AFTRA created an interim agreement to allow independent producers to create content that had no ties to the AMPTP,” Goins said.

    In the meantime, people like Coulter, who’s been in the movie business for more than 30 years, said he’s ready to get back to work.

    “A lot of people have been really hurting, especially crew because they’re at the mercy of actors and the writers,” Coulter said. 

    Goins said the AMPTP hasn’t reached out to SAG-AFTRA in two months, but he hopes the two sides can come together so the Hollywood of the South can say lights, camera, action again. 


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