George Clooney, Tyler Perry and other A-list actors have made a significant proposal to try to help resolve the months-long actors’ strike.
After meeting over Zoom with SAG-AFTRA union leadership on Tuesday, Clooney and more than a dozen other prominent and high-earning members proposed changes that included removing a $1 million cap on membership dues to help bridge a gap in contract negotiations with major studios, a source with knowledge of the proposal told CNN.
The changes would result in top earners contributing significantly more in membership fees each year that could bolster the union’s funding for health benefits.
The news was first reported by Deadline.
Emma Stone, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, along with Clooney and Perry, were among the prominent guild members who met with union leaders Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
CNN has reached out to SAG-AFTRA for comment.
Clooney told Deadline they want to help end the strike.
“A lot of the top earners want to be part of the solution,” Clooney told the outlet. “We’ve offered to remove the cap on dues, which would bring over $50 million to the union annually. Well over $150 million over the next three years. We think it’s fair for us to pay more into the union. We also are suggesting a bottom-up residual structure — meaning the top of the call sheet would be the last to collect residuals, not the first. These negotiations will be ongoing, but we wanted to show that we’re all in this together and find ways to help close the gap on actors getting paid.”
Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, later commented in the proposal in a video shared on Instagram.
“I want to thank certain members that wield a lot of clout in this business for the tremendous amount of money that they contributed to our foundation,” Drescher said. “I also want to thank George Clooney for organizing the suggestion [to] take the caps off of the dues so that the highest paid members can contribute more.”
Drescher called the offer “extremely generous,” but explained it wouldn’t be possible legally.
“We are a federally regulated labor union and the only contributions that can go into our pension and health funds must be from the employer. So what we are fighting for in terms of benefits has to remain in this contract,” Drescher said.
The proposal comes about a week after the studios walked away from talks with the union.
Contract negotiations broke down on Oct. 11, with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) suspending discussions because they were “no longer moving” forward “in a productive direction.”
The studios and SAG-AFTRA are negotiating revenue sharing and policies around use of artificial intelligence, among other items.
The strike has been going on since July 14.
“We at the union and with the negotiating committee are still waiting for the CEOs to return to the table so we can continue our talks,” Drescher said in her post Thursday. “In either saying no or walking away from the table, you are not really in a negotiation.”