SAG-AFTRA defends facilitating independent projects during the strike, suggesting that it will put competitive pressure on AMPTP to conclude the strike.
According to Deadline, SAG-AFTRA responded to criticism about their choice to allow some actors to continue working throughout the strike, and backed the interim filming agreements, stating they “disagree” with those who argue that allowing some movies and shows to go ahead could “prolong the strike.”
With the strike still ongoing, SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreements have allowed independent projects to continue production as long as they comply with the guild’s demands.
According to Deadline, critics of the temporary agreements have included stars such as Sarah Silverman, who earlier referred to the actors who have continued to work as “scabs,” though the comedian later announced on social media “I know I just must not be understanding something.”
SAG-AFTRA announced in a statement to its members, “Some have suggested that the Interim Agreement might prolong the strike, but we disagree. We believed the leverage created by increasing competitive pressure on the AMPTP and denying them what they want most will force them back to the table and help bring this strike to an end.”
The message went on, “We understand the concern that our Interim Agreement may produce content for struck companies to distribute. We are confident that the terms of this agreement, particularly the streaming revenue share, will make distribution of these projects through AMPTP platforms unfeasible, until such time as an industry wide agreement has been reached.”
SAG-AFTRA Said That They Are “Only” Striking “AMPTP Companies”
SAG-AFTRA also stated that before initiating negotiations, the committee “made the decision to allow producers, who may otherwise fall within the scope of the strike order, to apply for an Interim Agreement. Make no mistake, we are striking the AMPTP companies only, not independent productions that abide by the terms of our Interim Agreement. It behooves us to make this strategic move.”
They continued, saying “The Interim Agreement gives many of our journeyman performers and crews the opportunity to pay their rent and feed their families. This approach maintains our strength, solidarity and upper hand with the AMPTP until they yield to the deal we deserve.”
The SAG-AFTRA statement went on to add “The Interim Agreement is not a waiver” before continuing on to say that “it is a contract that includes all terms and conditions for producers looking to employ our members on their specific independent productions.”
Another section of the negotiating committee’s statement declared that, “The Interim Agreement is a vital part of our strategic approach to these negotiations and to the strike. If the AMPTP continues to refuse to bargain, our strategy denies them the ability to freely make their own original productions, allowing everyone other than the AMPTP to produce content with our members.”
The message continued on to “encourage” independent employees to reach an interim agreement, saying, “We urge independent producers to apply and encourage SAG-AFTRA members to work on the projects that obtain an Interim Agreement, along with all of the other permissible work we support.”
SAG-AFTRA concluded their statement by saying, “We will continue to work hard to negotiate fair compensation and safe working conditions for our members, and we thank you for your continued support through the strike.”
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