American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
Statement issued by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
regarding the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards by The Recording Academy
LOS ANGELES (January 15, 2008)—“AFM and AFTRA are encouraged by today’s news that the Writers Guild of America has signed an interim agreement with the NAACP that will allow 'The 39th NAACP Image Awards' to be telecast as scheduled. John Cossette Productions, Inc.—the producer of the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast—has made a written offer to the WGA to sign a similar interim agreement to allow the GRAMMY Awards to be telecast as planned on February 10, 2008. The GRAMMY Awards, in conjunction with the twelve events that surround the telecast, are the primary events that sustain the important educational, charitable, and advocacy activities of The Recording Academy to benefit the entire recording industry.
“AFTRA and AFM have worked, both individually and in partnership with The Recording Academy, to aggressively advocate on behalf of artists, musicians, and songwriters to receive fair compensation for the exploitation of their talents. The GRAMMY Awards provide a time to publicly celebrate the creative talent that fuels the music industry; the event also serves to remind a worldwide audience that musicians, singers, songwriters, and all creative talent deserve fair compensation for the performance of their work across all media platforms.
“In light of the news that the producer of the GRAMMY Awards has made a firm offer to the WGA, AFM and AFTRA strongly urge all of our members to support the important work of The Recording Academy by participating in the GRAMMY events. We also strongly encourage all participating union members to express support for our ongoing efforts to ensure that musical artists and creative talent receive fair compensation for their work in digital media, as well as support for our brothers and sisters in the WGA.”
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT AFM AND AFTRA
• The union contracts which govern talent appearing on the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast are with the American Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
• Musicians performing on the GRAMMY Awards telecast, as well as many of recording musicians honored at the GRAMMY Awards, are members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
• Singers, announcers, dancers, hosts, and presenters on the GRAMMY Awards telecast, as well as many of the recording artists honored at the GRAMMY Awards, are members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
• AFTRA and AFM are the exclusive collective bargaining representatives for vocal artists and instrumentalists, respectively, in recorded music.
• AFM and AFTRA have each been on the forefront of the fight to ensure fair compensation for instrumentalists and vocalists in various forms of digital media through their respective collective bargaining efforts.
• As of January 2008, AFTRA members are in negotiations with the major record labels in a campaign to establish a new compensation structure to ensure background singers receive a fair share of revenue from digital downloads, as well as to ensure that recording artists maintain secure health and pension benefits.
• AFM, AFTRA, and The Recording Academy have worked in coalition and partnership to protect the welfare of artists through public policy efforts to fight piracy, protect copyright enforcement, and promote education on the value of music. Efforts include:
o Work to establish fair compensation for artists for the performance of music on terrestrial radio.
o Work to protect existing legislation that provides public performance rights under U.S. Copyright Law to artists.
• AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians. AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying our legislators.
• AFTRA is a national labor union of over 70,000 actors, singers, dancers, announcers, journalists, and other artists working across the entertainment and news media. The union promotes the success and welfare of members through contract negotiation and enforcement, advocating on legislative and public policy issues, supporting equal employment opportunities, and sponsoring or supporting health and retirement benefits and programs.