‘Mad Men’ Now Playing a Union Tune

Lionsgate and the American Federation of Musicians reach an agreement; it doesn’t cover other properties such as ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, but the union is working on it.

Looks like the musicians aren’t as mad at Lionsgate any more: the American Federation of Musicians has reached an agreement with Lionsgate, producers of AMC’s Mad Men.

“We are pleased to have begun a relationship with Lionsgate that will bring fairness to musicians in its television production of Mad Men,” AFM president Ray Hair told The Hollywood Reporter.

The deal will see the musicians receiving union wages, residuals and pension and health benefits. “And,” said union official Marc Sazer, “(they’ll) be getting something else that was overdue – respect, and an acknowledgement of the dignity accorded to professional musicians.”

Sazer’s the president of the Recording Musicians Association, an AFM subgroup focusing on the interests of musicians who work in movies, TV, sound recordings and commercials. He said that the agreement resulted from “calm private discussions, informational picketing (and) gathering the support of a variety of AFM Locals and other entertainment industry unions and guilds.”

The deal applies only to Mad Men, not company-wide or to such other Lionsgate properties as the March 23 opener The Hunger Games, which set a record earlier this week for first-day advance ticket sales and is the first installment in a planned franchise. However, said Hair, “we are working toward broadening our coverage in the company's other TV and film projects.”

A Lionsgate spokesman declined to comment.

Look behind the scenes at THR's Hunger Games Cover Shoot (Exclusive Photos)

The AFM agreement isn’t Lionsgate’s only recent activity on the deal front: last month, the company reached an agreement to purchase Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the hit Twilight franchise.

Email: jhandel@att.net

Twitter: @jhandel

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