SAG-AFTRA, 5757 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (link) by Shaunti Griffin is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0 (link)
Website:

www.sagaftra.org/

Location:

LOS ANGELES, CA

Tax ID:

45-4931719

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $109,463,195
Expenses: $97,010,310
Assets: $259,096,300

Formation:

2012

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a labor union formed in 2012 after the two major unions for actors in recorded productions, the film actors’ Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and television actors’ and personalities’ American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), merged. The union represents approximately 160,000 active members in various media occupations including actors, journalists, singers, and dancers. [1]

The labor union faced criticism over its “woefully inadequate” procedures for filing a harassment or discrimination complaint in 2017 when the first sexual assault allegations against former film producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein emerged. [2][3] After its merger in 2012, SAG-AFTRA removed explicit references to “sexual harassment” as a cause for the board of directors to suspend or expel members from its constitution, changing the wording to “actions antagonistic to the interests or integrity of the union.” [4]

Founding

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a labor union that was formed in 2012 when the Screen Actors Guild, the labor union for film actors, merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, a labor union for on-screen television figures. SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 active members[5] and is controlled by a national board, executive committee, 25 local boards, and national and local committees. It also has a biennial convention to address amendments and resolutions. [6]

Both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) were formed in the 1930s, and represent “actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJ’s, news writers, news directors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals,” in media such as theatre, television, film, radio, games, and the internet. [7]

Funding

The Screen Actors Guild experienced declining revenue between 2008 and the merger with AFTRA in 2012. SAG received approximately $62.5 million in total revenue and paid slightly over $58 million in total revenue in 2008,[8] but received just over $52 million in total revenue but paid over $54.5 million in total expenses in 2012. [9]

After both labor unions merged, their revenue increased consistently for multiple years. SAG-AFTRA received approximately $97.4 million in total revenue and paid slightly less than $89 million in total expenses in 2014, it then received $101.6 million in total revenue and paid just over $92 million in total expenses in 2015, received just under $109.5 million in total revenue and paid $97 million in total expenses in 2016, and received slightly over $114 million in total revenue while paying just over $100 million in 2014. [10]

Throughout those years SAG-AFTRA had a net positive income of $8.6 million in 2014, $9.4 million in 2015, $12.4 million in 2016, slightly over $14 million in 2017. [11] This changed in 2018 when the labor union received $115 million in total revenue and paying $107 million in total expenses. This left SAG-AFTRA with just under $8 million of net positive income. [12]

Video Game Voice Actors

SAG-AFTRA reached a “tentative” agreement with 11 video game companies that it was boycotting for 11-months, between 2016 and 2017, on behalf of voice actors. The labor union began negotiations with large video game companies including EA, Activision, Disney Character Voices, Take-2 Interactive, and Warner Brothers in February 2015 before beginning a boycott of the industry in October 2016 after negotiations failed. [13]

SAG-AFTRA sought residuals and bonuses for voice actors that worked on a game that sold 2 million sales, downloads, or received 2 million subscribers, which capped at 8 million. The labor union also sought for less transparency on what voice actors would be working on, and compensation for vocal stress received during recording. [14]

The labor union came to an agreement in September 2017 when it reached a deal with the 11 companies it had been boycotting.

SAG-AFTRA did not manage to secure the residual payments for voice actors it had sought, but did come to an agreement that a “bonus payment” for its members would be paid based on the number of sessions worked for a game “beginning with a $75 payment on the first session and totaling $2,100 after 10 sessions worked.” [15]

The gaming news website Polygon interviewed several voice actors under the condition of anonymity due to “union rules.” Those interviewed described the strike as “frustratingly permanent,” and thought that SAG-AFTRA would not endanger its more important financial arrangements as according to one voice actor, they were “not the priority.” [16]

According to another actor who spoke to Polygon, the strike did not seem to affect the large companies as they were continuing to advertise “non-union interactive projects that paid huge salaries compared to almost any other post in any other category.” Polygon also stated that “everyone we spoke to repeatedly spoke about just wanting to do the work,” and that the voice actors interviewed were not “happy about the bread crumbs [sic] and incremental raises made.” [17]

For the condition of compensation due to vocal stress, the agreement amounted to “an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue.” The condition of transparency was slightly improved as the deal ensured that a video game company would reveal the “codename” of the project to the voice actor, but not the actual name of the project nor its specific role. [18]

Handling of Sexual Abuse in Film Industry

Harvey Weinstein, a former film producer and co-founder of Miramax Films, was sentenced to 23 years in prison in March 2020, after being convicted of a first-degree criminal sex act and third-degree rape of a woman while he was in the film industry. [19] Following the public revelation of allegations against Weinstein in October 2017, sexual harassment and assault complaints to SAG-AFTRA rose 500% over six weeks;[20] the public awareness of sexual misconduct allegations against producers and actors was credited with sparking the “MeToo” campaign against sexual misconduct. [21]

Before its merger with AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild suspended Seymour Cassel for two years after it was deemed that he had engaged in “conduct unbecoming a member” for the “sexual harassment” of three female union staffers. This action was in line with SAG’s constitution, which allowed board members to expel or suspend members that committed “sexual harassment,” or those who acted in a way “unbecoming of a member.” [22]

After the merger, SAG-AFTRA changed its constitution to remove “sexual harassment” and “conduct unbecoming of a member.” Even after the accusations against multiple members of the union had occurred in 2017, the constitution of SAG-AFTRA stated that members could be expelled or suspended for “engaging in actions antagonistic to the interests or integrity of the union.” [23]

New York-based television, film, and theater actor Morgan Spector, criticized SAG-AFTRA in 2017 for its “woefully inadequate” procedures for filing a harassment or discrimination complaint. The labor union stated that those who wished to file a complaint would have to “consult with outside counsel,” or complete a complaint questionnaire which would then be discussed with “the EEO & Diversity staff” to discover if SAG-AFTRA should file a claim on the member’s behalf. [24]

If filing a claim was appropriate, SAG-AFTRA would then send the producer a formal complaint and require appropriate action to be taken after an internal investigation. After the investigation, the company would then inform SAG-AFTRA of the results. [25]

This was eventually amended when the union created a code of conduct to combat sexual assault in 2018. SAG-AFTRA created the seven-page code to “end the pervasive culture of inaction and silence.” [26]

References

  1. “About,” SAG, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.sagaftra.org/about. ^
  2. “Harvey Weinstein Jailed for 23 Years in Rape Trial,” BBC News, March 12, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51840532. ^
  3. Morgan Spector et al., “Harvey Weinstein’s Crimes and SAG’s Failure,” Jacobin, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/harvey-weinstein-union-sag-aftra-hollywood. ^
  4. David Robb, “After Merger, SAG-AFTRA Constitution Dropped ‘Sexual Harassment’ As Specific Cause For Expelling Members,” Deadline (Deadline, December 15, 2017), https://deadline.com/2017/12/sexual-harassment-sag-aftra-constitution-dropped-cause-for-expulsion-1202228127/. ^
  5. “About,” SAG, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.sagaftra.org/about. ^
  6. “Governance,” SAG, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.sagaftra.org/about/governance. ^
  7. “Mission Statement,” SAG, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.sagaftra.org/about/mission-statement. ^
  8. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “SCREEN ACTORS GUILD INC – Form Form 990-O for Period Ending Apr 2008 – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/951202270/2009_04_EO/95-1202270_990O_200804. ^
  9. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “SCREEN ACTORS GUILD INC – Form Form 990-O for Period Ending Apr 2012 – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/951202270/2013_03_EO/95-1202270_990O_201204. ^
  10. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “Screen Actors Guild American Federation Of Television And Radio – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/454931719. ^
  11. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “Screen Actors Guild American Federation Of Television And Radio – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/454931719. ^
  12. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “SCREEN ACTORS GUILD- AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO – Form Form 990-O for Period Ending Apr 2018 – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/454931719/04_2019_prefixes_39-45/454931719_201804_990O_2019041116214503. ^
  13. Samit Sarkar, “Voice Actors, Video Game Makers Reach Agreement to End Strike,” Polygon (Polygon, September 25, 2017), https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/25/16363872/video-game-voice-actors-strike-sag-aftra-agreement. ^
  14. Samit Sarkar, “Voice Actors, Video Game Makers Reach Agreement to End Strike,” Polygon (Polygon, September 25, 2017), https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/25/16363872/video-game-voice-actors-strike-sag-aftra-agreement. ^
  15. Samit Sarkar, “Voice Actors, Video Game Makers Reach Agreement to End Strike,” Polygon (Polygon, September 25, 2017), https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/25/16363872/video-game-voice-actors-strike-sag-aftra-agreement. ^
  16. Brock Wilbur, “Voice Actors Speak out about Their 300-Day Fight for Basic Needs,” Polygon (Polygon, October 11, 2017), https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/11/16383884/voice-actors-strike-video-games. ^
  17. Brock Wilbur, “Voice Actors Speak out about Their 300-Day Fight for Basic Needs,” Polygon (Polygon, October 11, 2017), https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/11/16383884/voice-actors-strike-video-games. ^
  18. Samit Sarkar, “Voice Actors, Video Game Makers Reach Agreement to End Strike,” Polygon (Polygon, September 25, 2017), https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/25/16363872/video-game-voice-actors-strike-sag-aftra-agreement. ^
  19. Ed Pilkington and Lauren Aratani, “Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison on Rape Conviction,” The Guardian (Guardian News and Media, March 11, 2020), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/harvey-weinstein-sentencing-rape-conviction. ^
  20. Rebecca Keegan, “With Complaints Up 500 Percent, Actors Guild Grapples with a Post-Harvey Weinstein Age,” Vanity Fair (Vanity Fair, November 15, 2017), https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/11/sag-sexual-harassment-panel. ^
  21. Kantor, Jodi. “Weinstein Is Convicted. Where Does #MeToo Go From Here?” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 27, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/us/harvey-weinstein-metoo-movement-future.html. ^
  22. David Robb, “After Merger, SAG-AFTRA Constitution Dropped ‘Sexual Harassment’ As Specific Cause For Expelling Members,” Deadline (Deadline, December 15, 2017), https://deadline.com/2017/12/sexual-harassment-sag-aftra-constitution-dropped-cause-for-expulsion-1202228127/. ^
  23. David Robb, “After Merger, SAG-AFTRA Constitution Dropped ‘Sexual Harassment’ As Specific Cause For Expelling Members,” Deadline (Deadline, December 15, 2017), https://deadline.com/2017/12/sexual-harassment-sag-aftra-constitution-dropped-cause-for-expulsion-1202228127/. ^
  24. Morgan Spector et al., “Harvey Weinstein’s Crimes and SAG’s Failure,” Jacobin, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/harvey-weinstein-union-sag-aftra-hollywood. ^
  25. Morgan Spector et al., “Harvey Weinstein’s Crimes and SAG’s Failure,” Jacobin, accessed July 14, 2020, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/harvey-weinstein-union-sag-aftra-hollywood. ^
  26. “SAG-AFTRA Establishes Code of Conduct to Combat Sexual Harassment,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2018), https://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-sag-aftra-code-20180210-story.html. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: April - March
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Apr Form 990 $109,463,195 $97,010,310 $259,096,300 $212,051,910 Y $0 $103,104,937 $579,866 $5,273,814
    2015 Apr Form 990 $101,661,857 $92,174,127 $231,163,338 $195,977,208 Y $0 $96,479,211 $698,021 $5,337,642 PDF
    2014 Apr Form 990 $97,359,656 $88,725,100 $209,678,969 $183,598,115 Y $0 $93,612,473 $536,736 $3,998,973 PDF
    2013 Apr Form 990 $0 $0 $0 $0 Y $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    SAG-AFTRA

    5757 WILSHIRE BLVD
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90036-5810