SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors, has officially joined the writers on strike against the film and TV companies, igniting the entertainment industry’s first dual shutdown in 63 years.
Once the strike — which will start at midnight on Thursday, with picketing to begin on Friday morning — commences, the tens of thousands of film and television actors in SAG must cease all work covered by their union contract.
Film and television productions will shut down, but the work stoppage has reverberations that extend beyond actors going to set. According to the guidelines, SAG-AFTRA members will not be able to attend premieres, do interviews for completed work, go to awards shows, attend film festivals or even promote projects on social media while the strike is in effect. They are also not allowed to attend conventions such as Comic-Con or 90s Con to promote any past or present work made under a SAG-AFTRA contract.
“We are being victimised by a very greedy enterprise,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said during Thursday’s press conference. “At some point you have to say, ‘No, we’re not going to take this anymore.’”
SAG-AFTRA is fighting for higher wages, increased residual payments and protections around using artificial intelligence. The Writers Guild of America is already on the picket lines, marking only the second time in Hollywood history that actors and writers have been on strike at the same time. The WGA, which has been on strike since May 2, has since relaxed some of its rules surrounding press for members.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, argues it presented a deal that offered “historic pay and residual increases, a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses for SAG-AFTR members” and more.
“A strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life,” the AMPTP said in a statement after the strike was confirmed. “The Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.”
In response to the AMPTP’s statement, SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said at the press conference, “If you think this is a historic proposal, think again.”
Read the memo, with the full list of everything that members aren’t allowed to do during the strike, below:
Except as set forth in the Notice to Members Regarding Non-Struck Work, all covered services and performing work under the TV/ theatrical contracts must be withheld, including but not limited to:
- Principal on camera work, such as:
○ Performing stunts
○ Piloting on-camera aircraft
○ Performance capture or motion capture work;
- Principal off camera work, such as:
○ TV Trailers (promos) and Theatrical Trailers
○ Voice Acting
○ Narration, including audio descriptive services except as the services may be covered by another collective bargaining agreement referred in the Notice to Members Regarding Non-Struck Work
○ Stunt coordinating and related services
- Background work
- Stand-in work
- Photo and/or body doubles
- Fittings, wardrobe tests, and makeup tests
- Rehearsals and camera tests
- Interviews and auditions (including via self-tape)
- Promotion of/publicity services for work under the TV/Theatrical Contracts, such as:
○ Personal appearances
○ Fan expos
○ For your consideration events
○ Award shows
○ Podcast appearances
○ Social media
○ Studio showcases
- Negotiating and/or entering into and/or consenting to:
○ An agreement to perform covered services in the future
○ Any new agreement related to merchandising connected to a covered project
○ The creation and use of digital replicas, including through the reuse of prior work
- Performing on a trailer for a struck production or other ancillary content connected to a struck production
From Variety US