Negotiations resume this month with film/TV producers
OCTOBER 7, 2019 — Today members of the American Federation of Musicians rallied from coast to coast as part of the musicians’ national grassroots #BandTogether campaign calling on film and TV producers to offer a fair contract that includes streaming residuals.
In Sherman Oaks, a large crowd gathered in the morning outside the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers headquarters, where bargaining resumed today, to perform live music and rally with leaders from entertainment unions including SAG-AFTRA and WGA West. In New York, a concurrent rally took place outside NBCUniversal headquarters at Rockefeller Center with Congressman Jerrold Nadler and AFM members. The rallies follow several public actions held in recent weeks in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles.
“In made-for-streaming productions, we get about 25% of what we get from traditional theatrical or TV film production,” said AFM International President Ray Hair outside AMPTP prior to stepping in to the bargaining room. “Why should we make 75% less, so everybody else in their big, rich companies can make more? They bully us into a regressive economic position, in an effort to ultimately eliminate our employment.”
As television shows and movies move to streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, the studios are refusing to provide musicians fair compensation. While streaming residuals are granted to actors, singers, writers and others in the industry, major studios like CBSViacom, Disney/ABC, MGM, NBCUniversal, Sony, and Warner Media are excluding musicians from their fair share and significantly lowering musicians’ overall pay.
“Your fight is our fight,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “We are standing by your side, because we will be here fighting this same fight. We are doing the same work. You deserve to be respected. You deserve a fair contract. We want you to know we are united with you.”
“I am proud to stand with the thousands of American Federation of Musicians music professionals who rightly deserve a fair living wage,” Rep. Nadler said. “AFM members are creative professionals who deserve fair compensation and revenue-sharing for their work both on streaming films and television shows. Without music, there really is no TV.”
The #BandTogether movement is garnering support from legislators, entertainment union leaders, and leading composers in the industry including Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer, Lalo Schifrin, Pinar Toprak, Justin Hurwitz, John Williams, Jeff Beal and many more, as shared on the campaign website.
“I am consistently indebted to the amazing musicians I work with for bringing their talent to the music we create together,” said film composer Hans Zimmer in a statement. “It is their work that really helps to bring these films, television shows and projects to life. They have my full support as they head into negotiations so that they can be fairly compensated for their fantastic work.”
The current contract expires Nov. 14, 2019.