This past October saw the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) threaten to go on strike for better residuals and protections for on-set breaks. Though things came to a tenuous agreement, members of IATSE Local 839, aka The Animation Guild (TAG), were separate from those discussions. Now in their in their own quest to ensure that animation writers receive fair pay for their works, their efforts have been temporarily put on pause.
The guild’s Director of Communications, Alexandra Drosu, confirmed to Deadline on Friday that an agreement wasn’t reached, so negotiations between TAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will continue after the holidays have ended. Talks began on Monday and extended through the week, with the expectation things would resolve before the weekend ended. Previously, TAG’s agreement with AMPTP had expired back in July and later extended to the end of October.
In their negotiations for a new contract, TAG have been taking to Twitter to advocate for animation writers to be paid on par with the writers of live action productions and highlight the pay disparity between the two mediums. Currently, animation writers have a weekly minimum of $2,064 (unless it’s a show covered by the Writers Guild like The Simpsons), whereas live action writers’ pay falls somewhere between $4,063 and $5,185. If you follow anyone who works in animation on social media, including high profile creators like Gravity Falls’ Alex Hirsch and DC Super Hero Girls’ Lauren Faust, chances are you’ve seen them ask for fans to show their support with the hashtag #NewDealforAnimation.
In the wake of their discussions for better pay, TAG has pointed out how animation managed to avoid coming to a complete standstill like the rest of Hollywood during the first year of the pandemic. “We are a valuable part of the industry,” wrote TAG in their pinned tweet. “We do the same work as our live-action counterparts, and it’s time our pay reflected that...at the end of the day, we’re all doing the same job.”
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