SAG actors’ strike – latest: Kevin Bacon joins picket as studio horror stories go viral

‘No contracts, no peace’: Actors stage demonstration in New York

Kevin Bacon is the latest A-list star to join the picket lines in support of SAG-AFTRA’s strike against Hollywood production houses.

Negotiators for the actors union unanimously recommended a strike after talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) broke down last week.

Additionally, the Writers Guild of America has been on strike since early May. Both groups demand increases in base pay and residuals in the streaming TV era, plus assurances that their work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).

Fran Drescher, former star of The Nanny and SAG president, said studios’ responses to the actors’ concerns had been “insulting and disrespectful”.

In light of the historic double strike, several actors and writers, including Matilda child star and romcom staple John Cusack, have shared personal horror stories of Hollywood studio greed.

Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger condemned the threatened strike action as “very disruptive” at the “worst time” as well as calling the expectations of writers and actors “not realistic”.


What are SAG-AFTRA’s demands?

According to their official website, the following are SAG-AFTRA’s demands.

– Performers need minimum earnings to simply keep up with inflation.

– Performers need the protection of our images and performances to prevent the replacement of human performances by artificial intelligence technology.

– Performers need qualified hair and makeup professionals as well as equipment to safely and effectively style a variety of hair textures/styles and skin tones.

– Performers need compensation to reflect the value we bring to the streamers who profit from our labour.

– All performers need support from our employers to keep our health and retirement funds sustainable.

– Principal performers need to be able to work during hiatus and not be held captive by employers.

– Principal performers need to be reimbursed for relocation expenses when they’re employed away from home.

Peony Hirwani18 July 2023 08:00


Orange Is the New Black star claims cast members held second jobs due to poor salaries

Orange Is the New Black star Kimiko Glenn has opened up about how little the cast was paid amid the Hollywood actors’ strike over poor working conditions.

The 34-year-old joined Netflix’s groundbreaking drama in its second season as inmate Brook Soso, who is thrown into prison for illegal activism.

After appearing in 44 episodes of its nine-season run, Glenn claimed she only made $27.30 (£20) in 2020 from streaming residuals, which the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, defines as “additional compensation paid to performers when a production is shown beyond the original use covered by the initial compensation”.

Peony Hirwani18 July 2023 07:30


Devon Sawa claims he wasn’t ‘paid a cent’ for Final Destination 5 cameo in deleted tweet

Devon Sawa has joined the throng of actors sharing horror stories from the industry amid the SAG-AFTRA union strike, which has ground Hollywood to a halt.

Final Destination star Sawa, 44, reportedly took to Twitter on Friday (14 July) to allege that he was never paid for his cameo in Final Destination 5 (2011).

Sawa’s character Alex Browning – the lead in the original 2000 Final Destination film – briefly makes an appearance in the franchise’s fifth instalment using footage from the first film.

Peony Hirwani18 July 2023 07:00


WATCH: Hollywood in historic shutdown as actors union joins writers strike

Hollywood in historic shutdown as actors union joins writers strike

Inga Parkel18 July 2023 06:30


Kevin Bacon joins actors protesting against Hollywood studios

Kevin Bacon joined SAG-AFTRA members protesting in front of Paramount Studios’ New York headquarters on Monday (17 July).

“I think AI is a huge issue,” the Footloose star told The Associated Press from the picket line.

Peony Hirwani18 July 2023 06:00


House of the Dragon hit with backlash for continuing filming despite SAG-AFTRA strike

House of the Dragon is set to continue filming in the United Kingdom this summer despite the Screen Actors Guild strike – due to local union rules.

The second season of the HBO series is likely to proceed with production as scheduled, Variety reported on Thursday (13 July). The cast of the Game of Thrones prequel is primarily composed of British actors working under Equity contracts, rather than SAG-AFTRA. As a result, Equity members aren’t legally allowed to strike in solidarity with the US union, according to the outlet.

Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon’


UK law prohibits Equity union from legally calling a strike in support of SAG-AFTRA

Inga Parkel18 July 2023 05:30


Tom Cruis asked SAG-AFTRA to consider permitting continued publicity efforts amid strike

Tom Cruise reportedly spoke with reps SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP about issues like film promotion and AI, as well as some specifically concerning stunt professionals.

According to Deadline, the actor pushed SAG-AFTRA to consider allowing member promotion of studio projects during the strike.

A source told the outlet that this discussion wasn’t specifically concerning the 61-year-old actor’s latest film Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, but it was instead an acknowledgment of the power promotion has in influencing box office results, which are crucial for the industry post-pandemic.

Peony Hirwani18 July 2023 05:00


Mark Ruffalo rages against Hollywood ‘fat cats’

Actor Mark Ruffalo has urged his fellow stars to work with indie producers, following the news that SAG-AFTRA will soon be signing “interim agreements” with truly independent producers that will allow many of them to make projects during the strike, as long as they are not affiliated with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

“Then we just do what we always do – create great content and they can buy it, or we take it out ourselves and WE share in those sales,” he tweeted. “They’ve created an empire of billionaires and believe that we are no longer of value. While they hang out in the billionaire boy summer camps laughing like fat cats, we organise a new world for workers.”

Inga Parkel18 July 2023 04:30


George Clooney and Alec Baldwin have voiced strong support for the action

In a statement shared with the PA news agency, Clooney said: “This is an inflection point in our industry. Actors and writers in large numbers have lost their ability to make a living.

“For our industry to survive that has to change. For actors that journey starts now.”

In a video posted to Instagram, Baldwin congratulated the union for calling the strike in order to protect its “rank and file” members.

“I don’t think anybody really wants a strike but they don’t want to continue under the unfair contracts that we’re working under now,” he said.

“So congratulations to everybody and I hope this is over right after we get everything we want.”

Inga Parkel18 July 2023 04:00


Studio executive predicts ‘fall festivals are f***ed’ amid actors’ strike

Along with film premieres, Comic-Con, 90s Con and many more promotional events that are expected to be negatively impacted as a result of the actors’ strike, fall film festivals are also “f***ed”, one studio executive put it bluntly.

“You can’t premiere movies anywhere without your stars,” the executive told Variety. “No stars, no movie.”

The Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, which are scheduled for this fall, are at risk of being derailed by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, should it last for months.

Colorado’s famed Telluride Film Festival, which is to run from 31 August through 4 September, could potentially remain the least impacted as it doesn’t hold press conferences or step-and-repeats like many others do.

“Telluride will be mostly unaffected,” one studio executive told the outlet. “I can’t say the same for the others.”

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is expected to take place from 7 September through 17 September, followed by the New York Film Festival from 29 September until 15 October.

It’s unknown how long the Hollywood shutdown could last, however, SAG is ready for “the long haul”. So until studios and SAG come to an agreement on a fair contract, this fall might be a risky season for TV and film.

Inga Parkel18 July 2023 03:30

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