Members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have ratified a three-year prime-time TV contract with studios with 62 percent of voting members supporting it, despite a fierce campaign against it from the larger Screen Actors Guild which is still in negotiations.
The AFTRA contract, ratified Tuesday night, goes into effect retroactive to July 1.
"In the face of that kind of attack, the percentage we ratified this by is really good," AFTRA president Roberta Reardon told reporters Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press. A previous contract covering soaps and talk shows received 93 percent support.
SAG, which had complained that an AFTRA deal would undermine its own talks, said it would continue to hold out for a better deal. The guild wants larger fee increases for DVD sales and Internet content. It also is demanding better terms for actors made to endorse products in scripted scenes, an acknowledgement of how widespread product placement arrangements have become on both the large and small screen.
"We will continue to address the issues of importance to actors that AFTRA left on the table," SAG President Alan Rosenberg said in a statement. The guild, with 120,000 members, represents the vast majority of actors in prime-time TV and movies, and a strike there could still throw Hollywood into turmoil.
AFTRA officials countered that they secured the best terms possible without a strike, including higher basic wages and new reuse fees, or "residuals," for online content.
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