Musicians union starts contract talks with Hollywood studios; possible strike looming

Leo Stallworth Image
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Union for Hollywood musicians launches contract talks
The American Federation of Musicians is entering contract talks with Hollywood producers and says a strike is possible if no deal can be reached.

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Months after lengthy strikes by actors and writers in Hollywood, now it may be the musicians' turn.

The union for musicians who work for the film and television industries is entering contract talks with producers and says a strike is possible if the two sides can't reach agreement.

Members of the American Federation of Musicians held a rally this week in front of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers headquarters in Sherman Oaks.

They are concerned about some of the same contract issues that the actors and writers faced in their own talks last year - among them boosts in their share of revenue from streaming.

"I'm fighting for a fair share for musicians especially in streaming," said AFM president Tino Gagliardi. "We have been effectively cut out of the market right now with the made-for-new-media product that's being put out there. We need to be paid for streaming which is a primary market, which means we need a residual. We need additional payment for the stuff that is continuing to be exploited - the product that we represent in all motion pictures and television."

SAG-AFTRA members and Teamsters joined the musicians at the rally out of solidarity with their fellow union.

Last year, Hollywood writers went on strike from May to September, while actors were out on the picket lines from July to November before hammering out their deals with the AMPTP.

Actor Dermot Mulroney, a member of the musicians union, said the latest talks are all about "musicians getting their fair share."

"It's one of the hardest jobs in the business," Mulroney said. "One of the most beloved of course - everybody loves music. It's magic so you see how many people turned out today to start the process of of this contract negotiation."

Eyewitness News has reached out to AMPTP for comment.