Feb 11, 2021 - Technology
Actors union votes to represent influencers
SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors, plans to start representing online influencers as well.
Why it matters: A growing number of online content creators make their living promoting various products on social media. The union says the move will allow people to more easily make a career out of being an influencer and gain access to health care and other benefits.
- "As new ways of storytelling emerge, it's imperative that we embrace and lift up these artists,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a press release.
- In order to become a SAG-AFTRA member, the influencer "must be incorporated as a business" and pay an initiation fee of $3,000 as well as annual dues and 1.575% of their earnings up to $500,000.
The big picture: While mega-influencers on platforms from Instagram to TikTok have become multimillionaires, there's a major income gap between the top earners and most content creators. The gap is particularly pronounced for Black creators.
- Being able to join a union could mean more power for the talent that much of the social media economy relies upon.
- The move also comes amid a broader labor organizing push touching various corners of the tech industry.
Disclosure: I'm a member of SAG-AFTRA dating back to my years as a kid actor.