SAG-AFTRA expands eligibility to TikTok stars, influencers


  • SAG-AFTRA opened up membership to influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms.
  • The union traditionally represents actors, and the move signals a shift to include online creators.
  • Influencers would eligible for union benefits, including health coverage.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Charli D’Amelio is now eligible for membership in the same union as Meryl Streep. 

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has approved a new “Influencer Agreement” that will allow anyone who makes money as an influencer selling products on platforms like TikTok and Instagram to join the union, Backstage reported Thursday. 

“The Influencer Agreement was created in response to the unique nature of Influencer-generated branded content and offers a new way for influencers to work under a SAG-AFTRA agreement,” the union’s president, Gabrielle Carteris, told Backstage in a statement.

While SAG-AFTRA had previously extended membership to YouTube influencers who advertised on the video platform, this move represents a much bigger jump into the influencer space. 

Read more: The biggest actors’ union just made it easier for advertisers to use union actors. Read a memo laying out its new rules.

As long as there is a video or audio component to an influencer’s advertising, according to Backstage, the influencer is eligible for union benefits — including health coverage. The definition of “video and audio component” can include an Instagram video post, a TikTok, or a Twitch stream, for example. 

For influencers to qualify, they must be incorporated and have a contractual agreement with an advertiser to influence on their behalf.   

Most recently, SAG-AFTRA made headlines after it barred former member Donald Trump from readmission to the union in the wake of January’s insurrection. 

And the push for wider union membership is not limited to the entertainment industry. Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are pursuing the first union in the tech giant’s history, and workers at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, are also unionizing. At news companies like The New Yorker and The New York Daily News, union efforts are also in progress. 



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