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Netflix signs first deal with Equity

Members have argued that Netflix and Amazon should fund bursaries. Photo: Shutterstock Photo: Shutterstock
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Union Equity has negotiated its first direct agreement with Netflix, which provides a minimum weekly fee for actors working with the streaming site.

The deal comes as increasing numbers of actors start working with Netflix. The agreement covers productions made by the organisation for use on its own platform.

Last month, David Bedella said he was focusing on television work, including Netflix, because theatre does not pay enough for him to care for his family.

Olivier-winner David Bedella: I’m focusing on TV as theatre doesn’t pay enough

The new deal also comes as Netflix prepares to make more television in the UK. It is reported that the organisation is close to securing a 10-year lease for space at Pinewood.

Under the terms of the agreement, there will be a minimum rate of £715 a week, which allows for three months’ use on the platform.

The initial deal is for a three-year period, and Equity said minimum rates would increase by 2% for each year during this time.

John Barclay, head of the recorded media department at Equity, said: “We are delighted that after months of negotiations we have signed off on the first ever agreement with a leading streaming platform. This ensures that members will be protected.”

Equity said discussions were ongoing with Netflix about other issues, and is also talking to a “range of new streaming platforms that also wish to produce in the UK”.

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