Hollywood unions, studios reach deal to return to work amid coronavirus pandemic
The agreement outlines safety protocols including testing procedures
The film and television industry has taken a significant step toward the return to normalcy after being all but shut down for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an effort to help slow the spread of the potentially deadly virus, many major film and television productions temporarily halted, but now, studios and unions have reached an agreement that will see employees of the industry head back to work.
Agreeing to the deal were the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the Directors Guild, SAG-AFTRA, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Teamsters.
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AMPTP has been squabbling with unions since June over a handful of safety protocols, specifically the frequency and type of COVID-19 testing that will be performed on employees, sick day compensation, financial responsibility and more, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The new agreement specifies testing procedures, paid sick leave, personal protective equipment -- i.e. masks -- as well as more industry-specific details such as serving meals in individually wrapped portions.
The extended negotiations have resulted in Warner Bros. and Universal's TV productions delaying filming plans, the outlet reported.
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Television shows and movies slowing production in response to the virus outbreak have included Disney's "The Little Mermaid," the "Avatar" sequels, "The Morning Show" and more.
The move comes just weeks after the release of "Tenet," which was to serve as a test of whether audiences would return to theaters to see a film.
The movie's box office numbers failed to impress, however.
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On the other hand, Disney's live-action "Mulan" moved to Disney+ for an additional fee, but has underperformed over all as well.