SAG-AFTRA’s new ‘Influencer Agreement’ also offers representation to influencers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and more
TikTokers, Instagram influencers, and other online content creators now have a new way to unionise, via SAG-AFTRA’s “Influencer Agreement”. As Hollywood’s top union, the catchily-named Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will allow those that earn money through advertising on social media to reap the same benefits as A-list actors.
“The Influencer Agreement was created in response to the unique nature of Influencer-generated branded content and offers a new way for influencers to work under a SAG-AFTRA agreement,” Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA, tells Backstage. “We want to be able to support both current and future SAG-AFTRA members in this space and for them to be able to access the benefits of union coverage.”
Those benefits include better opportunities and protections for those working in the industry, plus – in many cases – health and pension plans. Previously, YouTubers were the only influencers able to gain membership, which will now be available to influencers on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and other platforms. According to SAG-AFTRA’s website, the union already represents around 160,000 performers and media professionals.
So, how do you qualify to join Hollywood’s biggest union as an influencer? Well, the new agreement categorises “influencer-generated branded content” as advertising, and this has to be produced by the influencers, and distributed on their personal platform in video or audio form. This could include as little as a short TikTok clip or Instagram story, and, according to the New York Times, there’s also no minimum follower count. The agreement doesn’t cover still imagery, however, or advertising campaigns created for a company, which are covered under a different agreement.
I know exactly who needs to fucking hear this BUT a lot of influencers are marginalized people who COULD REALLY BENEFIT from union protections, especially as more brands seek to employ marginalized creators to improve their images, so please spare me your eye rolls
— Kristin Chirico (@lolacoaster) February 11, 2021