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Could There Really Be an Actors' Strike?

Could There Really Be an Actors' Strike?

I've been trying to ignore reports that the Screen Actors Guild, which represents 120,000 actors, could go on strike. Just not listening. If I don't pay attention, they'll go away, right? La la la . . .

Except, well, those reports just keep rolling in. Come Monday (June 30), SAG's contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (yup, the same group the writers struck against earlier this year) is up. And that means we could once again be punching our tickets to picket-land.

If the contract expires on Monday with no deal, that doesn't automatically mean a strike is in the works. The SAG membership would have to vote to authorize one, and they haven't been asked to do that yet. Plus, there's a smaller union that represents actors that will vote on a contract July 8, and the thought is that SAG won't do anything official till the results of that vote are in. But already, Hollywood is getting ready for work to stop again. To see what's happening right now, just


According to a story in today's New York Times:

  • Most movie studios are planning to shut down production by Monday.
  • TV series are rushing to get episodes finished so the Fall TV season could still theoretically launch on time.
  • A ton of pilots are being shot now for shows that aren't expected to air till 2009 — much earlier than usual.

If there were a strike, some TV shows (24) would be able to start the season as normal, while others (Grey's Anatomy) wouldn't. Presumably, we'd also have to brace ourselves for lots more picketing, some delayed movie releases, and another spate of reality shows.

Could you handle another Hollywood strike?


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