Strike Impact: SAG-AFTRA Union Rules Bring Hollywood Productions to a Halt Around the World

Hollywood Productions Impacted by SAG-AFTRA Strike, U.K. Feels the Effects

As the SAG-AFTRA strike takes hold, Hollywood productions worldwide are coming to a standstill as actors, following union regulations, halt their work. The impact of this strike is likely to be significant outside of the U.S., particularly in the United Kingdom, which has become a major hub for international studio productions. One of the casualties is the filming of “Deadpool 3” at Pinewood Studios, which has been put on hold.

However, certain productions in the U.K. are exempt from the strike, such as the second season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon.” This show is contracted under British actor’s union Equity and not SAG-AFTRA.

Equity has expressed solidarity with the strike and has encouraged its members to participate in planned rallies. To address potential gray areas, Equity has also provided guidance on how actors working in the U.K. under different contracts should approach the strike.

According to Equity’s advice, members who are not part of SAG-AFTRA but are working in the U.K. on Equity contracts for a U.S. producer can continue working and should not be impeded by SAG-AFTRA pickets. While the SAG-AFTRA strike may be lawful under U.S. law, Equity’s lawyers argue that it is not recognized as such under U.K. law. This means that actors in this situation would have no legal protection if they participate in strike action or refuse to cross a picket line. However, continuing to work would not affect their rights to join SAG-AFTRA in the future.

Equity advises that actors who are both Equity and SAG-AFTRA members working in the U.K. on an Equity contract for a U.S. producer should also continue working. Under U.K. law, SAG-AFTRA cannot take disciplinary action against them for working during the strike.

Similarly, SAG-AFTRA members living in the U.S. but working in the U.K. on an Equity contract, and who have an addendum from SAG-AFTRA allowing them to work under an Equity contract, are advised to continue working and should not be hindered by picketers.

Equity urges SAG-AFTRA members based in the U.S. and working in the U.K. on a SAG-AFTRA contract to seek further advice from their union. Actors who are both Equity and SAG-AFTRA members working on a U.S. production should follow all instructions from SAG-AFTRA regarding the strike.

Outside of film and TV productions, Equity clarifies that SAG-AFTRA members working in U.K. theater and Equity or SAG-AFTRA members working on TV commercials in the U.K. are not affected by the strike and should continue working.

In solidarity with SAG-AFTRA, Equity plans to organize shows of support. However, it warns against encouraging people to stop working on U.K. productions, as this would likely be illegal.