‘Limited Number’ of Productions in Australia to be Stalled by U.S. Strike Action

SAG-AFTRA Strike signs

A small number of scripted TV and feature films being produced in Australia will be affected by the SAG-AFTRA strike currently unfolding in the U.S.

Australia’s production industry body Screen Producers Australia (SPA) said cast and crew on these offshore productions would be stood down while the strike continues.

Local scripted productions, produced and controlled by Australian production companies, engaging Australian and imported SAG members, will remain unaffected by the strike order, provided they have engaged all cast under Australian Industry Contracts in accordance with the Global Rule One Agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA).

The U.S. strike action relates to scripted TV, film and new media productions, but does not cover documentaries, light entertainment and reality shows.

SPA said it “hopes for a quick resolution to the strike” and that it is working to provide its member businesses with up-to-date information.

The SAG-AFTRA strike against film and TV companies marks only the second time in Hollywood history that actors have joined writers on the picket lines.

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said actors are being victimised by a very greedy enterprise.

 “At some point you have to say ‘No, we’re not going to take this anymore. You people are crazy. What are you doing? Why are you doing this?’”

In her impassioned plea, she argued that streaming and artificial intelligence have upended the entertainment industry’s business model. But, she continued, the SAG-AFTRA contracts haven’t been updated to reflect those advancements.

“If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in jeopardy. You cannot change the business model as much as it has been changed and not expect the contract to change too,” she said. “I cannot believe … how [the studios] plead poverty, that they are losing money left and right, when they give hundreds of millions to their CEOs. It is disgusting. Shame on them.”

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.