Hollywood: It’s a ghost town. Since May 2, the Writers Guild of America has been on strike. What’s more, it’s now been over a month since the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), joined these artists on the picket lines. The entire film industry has ground to a complete and utter halt.
However, industry experts are now questioning if unions in other countries will strike in solidarity. For instance, the UK’s actor union, Equity, is extremely invested in how these Hollywood strikes will resolve.
On July 13, Equity’s General Secretary, Paul W Fleming, released a statement supporting SAG-AFTRA’s actions.
“The members of our unions, and all entertainment unions across the globe, create the vast wealth within our industry,” Fleming said. “It is right and just that they have decent, modern pay and conditions.”
“Equity stands full square behind our sister union in their claim and the action their Board have agreed to take. Equity too is experiencing bullish engagers attempting to undermine its collectively bargained agreements. SAG-AFTRA has our total solidarity in this fight.”
During this statement, Fleming mentioned that it was unlikely that Equity would strike alongside SAG-AFTRA. However, since Fleming’s statement dropped, his wording has shifted.
On August 21, Fleming detailed that multiple Hollywood studios have been attempting to replace America’s striking actors with British ones. He believes that this behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“We will not tolerate is jobs being recast when they were previously offered to American artists, with British artists, even if they are on our agreements,” Fleming stated.
“We’re policing that very, very militantly, and it’s entirely possible for us to enter our own individual trade disputes with individual productions, where we believe that they are attempting to avoid the industrial action in the United States.”
So, will the Hollywood studio system take Fleming’s warning seriously? The war of the ghost town stamps on.
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