Voice actors are currently working under expired contracts. The contracts expired on June 30, 2017, and negotiations have stalled between the union and entertainment companies, largely because they’ve been unable to come to terms on animated programs made for subscription-based streaming platforms.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the producers, released the following statement in which it said it hoped a strike could be avoided:
“The AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have been engaged in meaningful discussions over a new Television Animation Agreement and a new Basic Cable Animation Agreement for several months. Those discussions have yielded progress, but there are still a few open items to resolve. Given the animation Producers’ longstanding positive relationship with the leadership of SAG-AFTRA, as well as their commitment to exploring a variety of ways to reach a deal, we hope that talk of a strike can be put aside in favor of ascertaining the facts about the business that are relevant to the issues that separate us and finding ways to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.”
Addressing the issue of streaming animation has taken on greater urgency as there are now nearly as many animated series being made now for streaming as there are cable. Since the SAG-AFTRA contract expired last year, 22 new animated series have gone into production for subscription-based streaming services, as compared to 23 new series that have gone into production for basic cable.
With Disney set to soon launch its own streaming service and Warner Bros. already pushing original content onto its Boomerang service, the number of series produced for streaming will soon surpass basic cable production. In fact, WB Animation recently renegotiated the contracts for several shows it was initially producing for basic cable, and will now send them to its streaming Boomerang platform.