The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is a labor union formed in 1933 to represent actors in film, television, and radio. 

Among other things, it provides health and pension benefits to its members.

SAG-AFTRA was established to represent the interests of performers who belong to SAG-AFTRA (the Screen Actors Guild).

It exists to negotiate agreements with employers and provide actors with the benefits necessary for them to work safely and effectively in any type of production or venue.



What is SAG AFTRA?

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is the union that represents working professionals in film, television and digital media.

It is a labor union that exists to ensure that actors, announcers, voiceover artists, dancers and other performers are treated fairly by their employers.

The union was founded in 1933 as the Screen Actors Guild.



The union also provides a variety of educational opportunities for its members, including classes on music, voice, dance and movement as well as acting training. Members can choose from several different levels of membership based on their experience level or career path.

Membership in SAG-AFTRA is open to anyone who performs on camera or radio or records audio performances for video productions. Members are also eligible for membership if they have performed similar services under another union contract or collective bargaining agreement.

What Does SAG AFTRA Stand For?

SAG-AFTRA is the largest professional union in the United States. Its membership includes actors, broadcasters and other media professionals working in film, television and digital media and performing arts industries.

The union represents more than 160,000 members from every state in the nation.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) is the largest national performers’ union in the United States with more than 160,000 members active in voice, live tableaus and recorded media.

What Does SAG AFTRA Do?

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation supports projects that benefit its members including scholarships for aspiring young actors; health and wellness programs for performers; training for those working behind the scenes on productions; educational initiatives designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities; support for families whose loved ones have been diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illness; advocacy efforts on behalf of those who are left homeless or unemployed by natural disasters.

Key SAG-AFTRA Members

 The following are some key SAG-AFTRA members.


The first and most important thing to remember about actors is that they don’t have a union. They work exclusively on their own time and on their own terms.

They are not paid residuals (they’re only paid for the work they do) and have no health benefits, retirement funds or other employee benefits. Actors also don’t get paid if they’re fired, although they may be able to collect unemployment insurance if they’re able to prove that their firing was wrongful.

Acting coaches are another important part of the industry because they help actors refine their craft and improve their performance skills and work ethic. Some acting coaches may charge for their services, but many offer them for free or at a discounted rate through association membership or through personal connections with other coaches.

SAG-AFTRA pros and cons

 The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is the largest professional body for performers in film, television, and radio in the United States.


1.The SAG-AFTRA is a union that offers health insurance and pensions to its members.

2.The SAG-AFTRA can provide you with opportunities to work on projects that are not limited by your geographical location.

3.You will have access to job boards where you can post your resume and get contacted by casting directors or production companies looking for actors/actresses in specific roles in their projects.

4.You will be able to earn more money than if you were going it alone because there are more people working together as a team to create something larger than the individual parts they play individually within any given project or series of projects.

A brief history of SAG-AFTRA

 SAG-AFTRA is a labor union representing American performers, including actors, broadcasters and stagehands. It was formed in 1935 to organize motion pictures actors, dancers, and others working in the entertainment industry.

The union was originally called the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), but changed its name in 1965 due to confusion with the similarly named British actors’ union.

After years of bitter contract negotiations with management over pay and working conditions, SAG-AFTRA became affiliated with AFL–CIO in 1955[citation needed] and began to organize television performers as well as those working on Broadway, Off-Broadway and other theatrical productions.[2][3]

In 1989, SAG-AFTRA merged with AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) to form AFTRA/SAG-AFTRA.[4][5] Unlike most unions that have merged with each other over time (e.g., the International Brotherhood of Teamsters), there has been no major conflict between the two groups’ membership.[6]

The biggest stars of the ’30s sign onto SAG

The Screen Actors Guild was founded in 1933, when a group of actors began meeting to discuss their issues and negotiate better contracts. The organization’s first strike occurred in 1937, when top stars walked off the job for two weeks to protest low pay and poor working conditions.

Today, SAG is one of the largest unions in the entertainment industry, with more than 110,000 members from every sector of the business — including actors, directors and voice talent.

The union was formed to address concerns that were specific to actors: namely, low wages and long hours on set. Over time, it has expanded its list of grievances to include many other issues such as health care coverage, residual payments and workplace safety.

Why is SAG-AFTRA important?

 SAG-AFTRA is important because it provides a voice for actors, stunt performers and other entertainment workers. The union represents more than 160,000 members in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

SAG-AFTRA was formed in 1935 as a branch of the AFL. It has since been affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE).

The union’s mission is to represent its members’ interests by protecting their employment rights, wages and working conditions through collective bargaining; addressing workplace grievances; promoting health and safety on set; providing training opportunities; supporting community service projects; fostering camaraderie among its members; encouraging ethical standards in film production through education programs; monitoring industry practices that affect its members’ working conditions; holding employers accountable for workplace violations; enforcing labor contracts on behalf of its members; increasing public awareness about issues affecting SAG-AFTRA’s membership


How to join SAG AFTRA

 To join SAG AFTRA, you need to be a member of the Screen Actors Guild. To join, you’ll need to fill out an online application. The application can be found here:

When you fill out your application, you will be asked to provide some information about yourself and your background. This includes things like your name, address, phone number and email address. You will also need to submit a photo of yourself that is at least 3 inches by 5 inches (4×4 or 5×7). You can find a list of approved photos on our website here:

Once you submit your application, it will go through the approval process and then be sent to our membership department for processing by our staff members there. Once we have received your application from our membership department, we will contact you to schedule an interview with one of our staff members at their discretion depending on availability, whether they feel they can help you or not etc..

What is SAG AFTRA – Wrapping Up

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) are the largest unions in Hollywood. Both unions have been around for over 80 years, and they represent actors working in film and television. The SAG-AFTRA contract is negotiated by a committee made up of representatives from both unions.

This committee is responsible for negotiating new contracts with employers and compiling a list of issues that need to be addressed in the next contract.

The Committee on Negotiations meets once a year, but it will also meet before or after a meeting if necessary to discuss issues that may arise during the negotiations. Once an agreement has been reached, it must be ratified by both unions’ membership before it can take effect.