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Netflix and SAG-AFTRA sign contract that includes dubbing work

Netflix took another step to bolster its Hollywood credentials, signing a historic agreement with the union that represents Hollywood actors and other performers.

Netflix and SAG-AFTRA announced Saturday that they reached an agreement that will expand the scope of workers covered under their contract to include people involved in dubbing foreign-language films into English and performance capture work.

The three-year agreement also applies minimum salary and turnaround provisions for all Netflix programs and provides more benefits to workers, including concessions for day performers and guest stars on episodic series, as well as improvements in residual payments (the fees paid when shows are rerun).

The pact is the first of its kind between the actors’ union and the streaming giant, which had previously followed terms of the union’s main network code contract but did not have an overall agreement with SAG-AFTRA.


“We are always looking to adapt and grow within the changing environment of our industry,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement. “This groundbreaking agreement speaks to that.”

Netflix has been increasing the amount of programs in foreign languages as the company seeks to expand its global audience in countries such as India. Earlier this week, Netflix reported the number of its U.S. subscribers plunged by 130,000 customers, a major decline not seen since 2011.

The push to gain more global audiences comes at a time when Netflix is gearing up to face major streaming competitors, including Disney, Apple and WarnerMedia’s streaming platforms that will launch in the next year.

Netflix, which is one of the biggest office tenants in Los Angeles, has been working to build closer ties to Hollywood. The Los Gatos company is seeking to buy the Egyptian Theatre from American Cinematheque as a way of endearing itself to filmmakers. Earlier this year, Netflix joined the Motion Pictures Assn. of America.


“We are pleased that we were able to work with SAG-AFTRA to address these issues unique to Netflix’s production needs and we commend SAG-AFTRA leadership for its creative approach,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

The deal was approved on Saturday by SAG-AFTRA’s national board on Saturday. It expires on June 30, 2022.