On May 1, 2000, 75,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists staged a walk-out in protest of advertisers's proposed changes to the ways in which actors get paid for work in commercials. According to the current pay scheme, principle on-screen actors appearing in network commercials earn $479 in base pay as well as a residual payment ranging from $47 to $123. Over a standard thirteen-week run, actors earn an average of $13,000 per commercial. However, actors in cable commercials make a flat fee of $479 to $1,014 for the same thirteen-week run. SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are demanding a fourteen percent pay raise for both types of commercials. However, the advertisers would like to pay the actors only $2,575 for an unlimited thirteen-week network run. While this amount may seem like a lot of money, the average income for members of the SAG members is only $7000 a year, reflecting the possibility that actors may only appear in one or two commercials a year. This is the first major strike in the entertainment industry since 1988.
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