SAG-AFTRA is about to start a strike effective at midnight PT on July 14, with actors hitting the pickets early Friday morning. But while they will signal, march and make their voices heard in the Hollywood studios as early as tomorrow, there is much that the union is ordering them Not Do.
Like the WGA before it, SAG-AFTRA before its strike issued its formal strike rules, a memo (obtained by IndieWire) sent to the guild’s 160,000+ members outlining the do’s and don’ts (mostly not to do) that actors should participate if they want to show solidarity.
Beyond any work in front of the camera, whether it’s lead or even in the background or as a stunt double, actors will also be prohibited from doing promotional work for anything made – past, present or future – under the terms of the TV agreements. -theater. . And as Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reiterated during Thursday’s press conference, that goes for festivals, conferences, panels, social media, podcasts, film premieres and more. The full list is below.
So that goes for festivals like Venice or TIFF, next month’s Comic-Con, or even something like “Oppenheimer,” which premiered on Thursday just as SAG-AFTRA was preparing to announce the strike, pushing the film’s cast to leave as a sign of solidarity before the strike was called. Crabtree-Ireland also expected the Emmy campaigns to end immediately, despite the nominations being announced on Wednesday.
There are some exceptions, like if you’re doing an autograph signing, or anything that isn’t related to specific companies affected or for projects done under the deals, but if actors are in doubt, they should go to the union. And the strike rules also apply to artists working under different contracts, including for New Media and low-budget projects, but not those in the commercial space or other areas covered by SAG-AFTRA.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher on Thursday gave an impassioned speech about the disrespect she and the negotiating committee felt the AMPTP showed in talks to protect the livelihoods of actors and in portraying working-class actors as a part foundation of the wider workforce. She further explained that SAG-AFTRA is not a pro-strike union and only goes on strike as a last resort, but she believed that the incumbent companies cannot drastically change their business model without expecting that the workers’ contract will also evolve drastically.
“Our hearts bleed because we had to make this decision,” he said Thursday. “But we can’t not get what these members deserve, because things will only get worse. This is where we drew the line in the sand, and it’s a terrible thing to do, but we were forced to do it.
Below is the full list of covered services and running jobs to be held during the Actors Strike, plus the language included in the memo which provides specific instructions to SAG-AFTRA members, as well as the language to non-members who they may hope to join SAG-AFTRA one day on what work they can do during this time.
Principal at work with the camera, such as:
- Performing stunts
- Flying planes with the camera
- Performance capture or motion capture work
Major off-field jobs, such as:
- TV trailers (promotional) and movie trailers
- Voice acting
- Storytelling, including audio-descriptive services, unless the services may be covered by another collective bargaining agreement referred to in the Notice to Members Concerning Unaffected Work
- Stunt coordination and related services
- Background work
- I work standing up
- Photos and/or stunt doubles
- Fitting tests, wardrobe tests and make-up tests
- Rehearsals and rehearsals with the camera
- Interviews and auditions (also via self-tape)
Promotion/advertising services for work under television/theatre contracts, e.g
- Personal appearances
- Fan exhibitions
- For your consideration events
- Award shows
- Podcast appearances
- Social media
- Studio showcases
By negotiating and/or stipulating and/or agreeing to:
- An agreement to perform covered services in the future
- Any new merchandising deal related to a covered project
- The creation and use of digital replicas, including through the reuse of previous works
Performing on a trailer for an affected production or other ancillary content related to an affected production
*To ensure compliance with the rule of discontinuing all covered services, members who are also
employees in non-performing capacity should consult SAG-AFTRA by sending an email
SAGAFTRAstrike@sagaftra.org. To the extent prohibited by applicable law, SAG-AFTRA will do so
fail to discipline members for purely uncovered work performed in other non-performing capacities.
In addition to the suspension of all covered services, the following rules apply
duration of the strike:
- Members must not cross SAG-AFTRA pickets, subject to the exceptions described in
SAG-AFTRA Notice Concerning Unaffected Work.
- Members must instruct their agent and/or other representatives to stop
conduct negotiations on their behalf with studios, streamers and networks for covered services.
- Members must inform SAG-AFTRA of all strike activity by email
- Members are also bound by any rules or interpretations set forth in the FAQs relating to this strike notice and order. Frequently Asked Questions will be available soon at
NOTICE TO NON-MEMBERS: Any non-member seeking future membership a
SAG-AFTRA performing covered services for a company affected during the strike will do so
not be eligible to join SAG-AFTRA.