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Actors, Producers OK Tentative Deal

April 5, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Setting the two most contentious issues aside, film and TV producers reached a tentative contract agreement with actors, they announced Sunday.

Talk was postponed on the issues of residual payments for television shows broadcast in foreign countries and domestic cable fees ``to avoid dividing and potentially paralyzing the industry,″ the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said in a joint statement.

Contract details were not released. They will be presented to SAG and AFTRA leaders for approval in the next few weeks. If approved, the contract will go to the unions’ more than 130,000 members for ratification.

The residual rates are to be decided after an industrywide study that could take up to two years, the statement said.

SAG and AFTRA want a doubling of the current residual rate for shows on foreign TV and a portion of distributors’ foreign revenues. They also seek a substantial increase in the current 6 percent fees for domestic cable.

Producers want reductions in domestic residual payments, a lower salary structure for movies with budgets below $15 million and a lower cap on pension and health contributions.

The current three-year contract expires June 30. Contract talks began Feb. 19.

SAG members haven’t struck since 1980, when a walkout caused massive disruption of the subsequent fall TV schedule. Hollywood’s last major strike came in 1988 when the Writers Guild of America walked out for 22 weeks.

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