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The Industry

Understanding the SAG-AFTRA strike and its impact on UK performers in the UK

If you’re an actor or performer in the entertainment industry, you may have heard about the SAG-AFTRA industrial action. We’ll break down what the strike means, how it affects performers, and what actions you can take.

What is the SAG-AFTRA industrial action?

It’s a work stoppage initiated by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). This action comes as a result of ongoing contract negotiations with the Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) which represent corporations that create streaming/film content. That includes companies like Netflix, Amazon and traditional studios.

Why is the strike happening?

SAG-AFTRA is negotiating with AMPTP about fair wages, improved working conditions, and better residual payments for performers in film, television, and digital media.

You can read more about the strike on SAG-AFTRA’s website.

How does the strike affect UK performers?

If you’re a performer who has Equity membership but you’re not a member of SAG-AFTRA, the advice is to continue to work and a SAG-AFTRA picket should not prevent you from doing so.

If you’re involved in co-productions or working with SAG-AFTRA members, the strike can potentially disrupt or delay productions. It’s important to stay informed and be prepared for any changes that may arise.

How does the strike affect UK performers who are members of both Equity and SAG-AFTRA?

If you’re working in the UK on an Equity contract, the advice is to continue working as usual.

If you’re working in the US under a SAG-AFTRA contract, the advice is to contact SAG-AFTRA to get further information about how the strike affects your production.

For more information, please visit Equity’s full FAQ list and statement here.

Should I/can I participate in the strike?

If you’re an Equity member, their UK lawyers have advised that whilst the strike is lawful in the US, it’s not legal in the UK. Therefore any performer joining a strike or who refuses to cross a picket line in the UK will have no protection against being dismissed or sued by the producer or engager for breach of contracts.

How long will the SAG-AFTRA industrial action last?

Unfortunately, the duration remains uncertain, as it depends on the progress made in ongoing negotiations. It could be resolved relatively quickly or extend over a longer period. We’ll keep this page updated as we find out more.

During this period of industrial action, it’s crucial to stay informed, support your fellow performers, and seek guidance when needed.

Photo credit: Rblfmr / Shutterstock