SAG-AFTRA Develops a Code of Ethics and Conduct for Talent Managers

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Any SAG-AFTRA actor in the entertainment industry who currently works with a manager might want to pay attention to the new code of ethics and conduct that the union introduced on Tuesday. While the nine-page code is voluntary, SAG-AFTRA is taking a step to regulate talent managers who are not currently not governed by state agencies.

The guild initially worked with members of the Talent Managers Association and other independent managers to bring this code to life.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA chief operating officer and general counsel, told The Hollywood Reporter, “The establishment of the Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct is a true ‘win-win,’ assuring important protections for SAG-AFTRA members while providing significant and meaningful benefits to our listed personal managers. We look forward to working more closely with our listed personal managers to further the interests of our members.”

Some of the highlights of the code include limiting an initial contract to 18 months with a renewal contract allowing for three years. Managers cannot collect up-front fees or require their clients to use specific photographers, acting schools or any business that the manager has a financial stake in. They are also not allowed to procure work for the actor which is generally not allowable under New York and California state law, that part of the industry falls to talent agents.

Even with all of the progress between SAG-AFTRA and talent managers, TMA decided not to endorse the final code.

The TMA board said in a statement, “After thoughtful review and consultation with legal counsel, our position is to advise members against signing the SAG-AFTRA code in its current highly restrictive and regulatory form. Currently, there are counterproductive elements that we believe can be further revised for everyone’s benefit.”

Actors will need to see how this new code develops and make sure to read the Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduction online.

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