The ongoing strike by SAG-AFTRA, now nearing its fourth week, has brought to the forefront the significance of interim agreements in the entertainment industry. At its core, an interim agreement is not a “waiver”; it’s a binding contract that productions must adhere to, aligning with all of the contract terms SAG-AFTRA is seeking from the AMPTP.

In a memo to guild members, Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA President, emphasized the importance of these agreements: “They’re a testament to the fairness of our terms. If independent productions can meet them, there’s no reason major studios can’t.”

The logic is simple yet powerful; if independent productions, operating on tighter budgets, can agree to these terms, then it stands to reason that the industry’s billion- and trillion-dollar behemoths should have no issue doing the same. More than 100 productions, including notable ones like “The Chosen” and “Mother Mary” starring Anne Hathaway, have already signed on, underscoring the viability of the union’s terms.

One could also argue that the financial realities of small production companies have nothing to do with the financial realities of big production companies… which is what the big production companies will argue.

Full disclosure: I have been a card-carrying member of SAG/AFTRA for almost 50 years, and I ran a small signatory production company for more than 25 of those. If I ran one today, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign the interim agreement. It won’t help end the strike, but it will put people back to work under terms the guild deems fair.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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