Latest NewsACTRA members standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA

ACTRA members standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) says its 28,000 members are standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) as its members began strike action for the first time in 43 years at midnight.

Among the sticking points between AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) – representing more than 350 American television and film production companies – and SAG-AFTRA – representing 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, DJs, hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals – are compensation improvements, including a residual structure tied to viewership data, secondary compensation and transparency around video game work, and a formalized effort to reduce vocal stress for performers, among other issues.

In a letter to members, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland also noted the “existential threat” AI poses to creative professions, saying “all actors and performers deserve contract language that protects them from having their identity and talent exploited without consent and pay.”

“We recognize that their fight is our fight and is for the good of all performers,” said Eleanor Noble, ACTRA National President, in a release. “Together we will continue working to ensure performers are respected and achieve fair compensation for the value we bring to every production.”

In its strike notice to members, SAG-AFTRA has instructed members to cease rendering all services under the Producer – SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement, SAG-AFTRA Television Agreements and performing work covered by the TV/Theatrical Contracts, including principal on- and off-camera work, stunts, piloting on-camera aircraft, puppeteering, performance capture or motion capture work, ADR/Looping, theatrical trailers, voice acting, narration, background and stand-in work, rehearsals and camera tests, auditions, and promotion and publicity services for work under the TV/Theatrical Contracts, encompassing premieres, screenings, podcast appearances, and social media.

ACTRA says performers under an existing contract in Canada have a legal obligation to work and will not be asked by SAG-AFTRA to withhold services. Canadians who are dual members of both unions, who reside in Canada and engaged on a Canadian production, may work on an ACTRA contract as per usual. Dual members whose primary residence is outside of Canada must contact SAG-AFTRA before accepting any bookings. Canadian producers who want to engage a SAG-AFTRA member, including dual members who reside outside of Canada, must also contact the union.

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) is also standing in solidarity with the 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) who have been on strike since May 2.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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