Screen Actors Guild

Last updated

Screen Actors Guild
AbbreviationSAG
Merged into SAG-AFTRA
FoundedJuly 12, 1933 (1933-07-12)
DissolvedMarch 30, 2012 (2012-03-30)
(78 years, 8 months and 18 days)
Headquarters Hollywood, California
Location
Members (2012)
129,092 ("active" members)
54,690 (other members; withdrawn/suspended)
(before merger, 2012)
Affiliations AAAA (AFL–CIO), FIA
[1]

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was an American labor union which represented over 100,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide. On March 30, 2012, the union leadership announced that the SAG membership voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to create SAG-AFTRA. [2]

Contents

Background

According to SAG's Mission Statement, the Guild sought to: negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements that establish equitable levels of compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its performers; collect compensation for exploitation of recorded performances by its members, and provide protection against unauthorized use of those performances; and preserve and expand work opportunities for its members. [3]

The Guild was founded in 1933 in an effort to eliminate the exploitation of Hollywood actors, who were being forced into oppressive multi-year contracts with the major movie studios. Opposition to these contracts included that they did not include restrictions on work hours or minimum rest periods, and often had clauses that automatically renewed at the studios' discretion. These contracts were notorious for allowing the studios to dictate the public and private lives of the performers who signed them, and most did not have provisions to allow the performer to end the deal. [4]

The Screen Actors Guild was associated with the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (AAAA), which is the primary association of performer's unions in the United States. AAAA is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. SAG claimed exclusive jurisdiction over motion picture performances, and shared jurisdiction of radio, television, Internet, and other new media with its sister union AFTRA, with which it shared 44,000 dual members. [5] Internationally, the SAG was affiliated with the International Federation of Actors.

In addition to its main offices in Los Angeles, SAG also maintained branches in several major US cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Beginning in 1995, SAG began to award the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which are considered an indicator of success at the Academy Awards. It continues through SAG-AFTRA.[ citation needed ]

History

Early years

In 1925, the Masquers Club was formed by actors discontented with the grueling work hours at the Hollywood studios. [6] This was one of the major concerns which led to the creation of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933. Another was that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which at that time arbitrated between the producers and actors on contract disputes, had a membership policy which was by invitation only.

A meeting in March 1933 of six actors (Berton Churchill, Charles Miller, Grant Mitchell, Ralph Morgan, Alden Gay, and Kenneth Thomson) led to the guild's foundation. Three months later, three of the six and eighteen others became the guild's first officers and board of directors: Ralph Morgan (its first president), Alden Gay, Kenneth Thomson, Alan Mowbray (who personally funded the organization when it was first founded), Leon Ames, Tyler Brooke, Clay Clement, James Gleason, Lucile Webster Gleason, Boris Karloff, Claude King, Noel Madison, Reginald Mason, Bradley Page, Willard Robertson, Ivan Simpson, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Starrett, Richard Tucker, Arthur Vinton, Morgan Wallace, and Lyle Talbot.

Many high-profile actors refused to join SAG initially. This changed when the producers made an agreement amongst themselves not to bid competitively for talent. A pivotal meeting, at the home of Frank Morgan (Ralph's brother, who played the title role in The Wizard of Oz ), was what gave SAG its critical mass. Prompted by Eddie Cantor's insistence, at that meeting, that any response to that producer's agreement help all actors, not just the already established ones, it took only three weeks for SAG membership to go from around 80 members to more than 4,000. Cantor's participation was critical, particularly because of his friendship with the recently elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After several years and the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, the producers agreed to negotiate with SAG in 1937.

Actors known for their early support of SAG (besides the founders) include Edward Arnold, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Dudley Digges, Porter Hall, Paul Harvey, Jean Hersholt, Russell Hicks, Murray Kinnell, Gene Lockhart, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, Chester Morris, Jean Muir, George Murphy, Erin O'Brien-Moore, Irving Pichel, Dick Powell, Edward G. Robinson, Edwin Stanley, Gloria Stuart, Lyle Talbot, Franchot Tone, Warren William, and Robert Young.

Blacklist years

In October 1947, the members of a list of suspected communists working in the Hollywood film industry were summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), which was investigating Communist influence in the Hollywood labor unions. Ten of those summoned, dubbed the "Hollywood Ten", refused to cooperate, and were charged with contempt of Congress and sentenced to prison. Several liberal members of SAG, led by Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, and Gene Kelly, formed the Committee for the First Amendment (CFA) and flew to Washington, DC, in late October 1947 to show support for the Hollywood Ten.

The Hollywood Professional Building housed SAG headquarters in the 1940s Hollywood Professional Building from northwest 2015-05-31.jpg
The Hollywood Professional Building housed SAG headquarters in the 1940s

The president of SAG – future United States President Ronald Reagan – also known to the FBI as Confidential Informant "T-10", testified before the committee but never publicly named names. Instead, according to an FBI memorandum in 1947: "T-10 advised Special Agent [name deleted] that he has been made a member of a committee headed by Mayer, the purpose of which is allegedly is to 'purge' the motion-picture industry of Communist party members, which committee was an outgrowth of the Thomas committee hearings in Washington and subsequent meetings ... He felt that lacking a definite stand on the part of the government, it would be very difficult for any committee of motion-picture people to conduct any type of cleansing of their household". [7] Subsequently, a climate of fear, enhanced by the threat of detention under the provisions of the McCarran Internal Security Act, permeated the film industry. On November 17, 1947, the Screen Actors Guild voted to force its officers to take a "non-communist" pledge. On November 25 (the day after the full House approved the ten citations for contempt) in what has become known as the Waldorf Statement, Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), issued a press release: "We will not knowingly employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States by force or by any illegal or unconstitutional methods."

None of those blacklisted were proven to advocate overthrowing the government – most simply had Marxist or socialist views. The Waldorf Statement marked the beginning of the Hollywood blacklist that saw hundreds of people prevented from working in the film industry. During the height of what is now referred to as McCarthyism, the Screen Writers Guild gave the studios the right to omit from the screen the name of any individual who had failed to clear his name before Congress. At a 1997 ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Blacklist, the Guild's president made this statement:

Only our sister union, Actors Equity Association, dared to stand behind its members and help them continue their creative lives in the theater. ... Unfortunately, there are no credits to restore, nor any other belated recognition that we can offer our members who were blacklisted. They could not work under assumed names or employ surrogates to front for them. An actor's work and his or her identity are inseparable. Screen Actors Guild's participation in tonight's event must stand as our testament to all those who suffered that, in the future, we will strongly support our members and work with them to assure their rights as defined and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Richard Masur, Hollywood Remembers the Blacklist [8]

1970s to 2012

The Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minorities Committee was co-founded in 1972 by actors Henry Darrow, Edith Diaz, Ricardo Montalbán and Carmen Zapata. [9]

The Screen Actors Guild Women's Committee was founded in 1972.

In 1980, SAG and AFTRA held a strike over issues regarding profit sharing from home media and pay TV.

Marquez v. Screen Actors Guild

In 1998, Naomi Marquez filed suit against SAG and Lakeside Productions claiming they had breached their duty of fair representation. The claim was denied by the Supreme Court.

Merger with AFTRA

The membership of the Screen Actors Guild voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists on March 30, 2012. [2]

Composition

Membership (US records) [10]
     Total     "Active"     Total other (     "Honorable Withdrawals"     "Suspended")
Finances (US records; ×$1,000) [10]
     Assets     Liabilities     Receipts     Disbursements

According to SAG's Department of Labor records since 2006, when membership classifications were first reported, 30%, or almost a third, of the guild's total membership had consistently been considered "withdrawn", "suspended", or otherwise not categorized as "active" members. These members were ineligible to vote in the guild. [10] "Honorable withdrawals" constituted the largest portion of these, at 20% of the total membership, or 36,284 members before the merger in 2012. "Suspended" members were the second largest, at 10%, or 18,402 members. [1] This classification scheme is continued by SAG-AFTRA. [11]

Rules and procedure

Becoming a member

An actor was eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild by meeting the criteria in any of the following three categories: principal actor in a SAG production, background actor (originally the "three voucher rule"), and one-year member of an affiliated union (with a principal role). The basic categories were:

Initiation fee and membership dues

Members joining the Los Angeles, New York, or Miami SAG locals were assessed an initial fee to join the Guild of $3,000. At the time of initiation, the first minimum semi-annual membership dues payment of $58 must have also been paid, bringing the total amount due upon initiation into the Guild to $3,058. [13] All other SAG locals still assessed initiation fees at the previous rate. Members from other locales who worked in Los Angeles, New York, or Miami after joining were charged the difference between the fee they paid their local and the higher rate in those markets.

Membership dues were calculated and due semi-annually, and were based upon the member's earnings from SAG productions. The minimum annual dues amount was $116, with an additional 1.85% of the performer's income up to $200,000. Income from $200,000 to $500,000 was assessed at 0.5%, and income from $500,000 to $1 million was assessed at 0.25%. For the calculation of dues, there was a total earnings cap at $1 million. Therefore, the maximum dues payable in any one calendar year by any single member was limited to $6,566.

SAG members who became delinquent in their dues without formally requesting a leave of absence from the Guild were assessed late penalties, and risked being ejected from the Guild and could be forced to pay the initiation fee again to regain their membership.

Global Rule One

The SAG Constitution and Bylaws stated that, "No member shall work as a performer or make an agreement to work as a performer for any producer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the Guild which is in full force and effect." [14] Every SAG performer agreed to abide by this, and all the other SAG rules, as a condition of membership into the Guild. This means that no SAG members could perform in non-union projects that were within SAG's jurisdiction, once they became members of the Guild. Since 2002, the Guild had pursued a policy of worldwide enforcement of Rule One, and renamed it Global Rule One.

Unique stage names

Like other guilds and associations that represent actors, SAG rules stipulated that no two members may have identical working names. Some actors use their middle initial in their stage name, or have stage names that differ from their legal name to comply with this rule. Notable examples include Michael Keaton, Michael J. Fox and Emma Stone, whose birth names "Michael Douglas", "Michael Fox" and "Emily Stone", respectively, were already in use.

Member benefits and privileges

SAG contracts with producers contained a variety of protections for Guild performers. Among these provisions were: minimum rates of pay, adequate working conditions, special protection and education requirements for minors, arbitration of disputes and grievances, and affirmative action in auditions and hiring.

Standardized pay and work conditions

All members of the Guild agreed to work only for producers who had signed contracts with SAG. These contracts spelled out in detail the responsibilities that producers must assume when hiring SAG performers. Specifically, the SAG basic contract specified: the number of hours performers may work, the frequency of meal breaks required, the minimum wages or "scale" at which performers must be compensated for their work, overtime pay, travel accommodations, wardrobe allowances, stunt pay, private dressing rooms, and adequate rest periods between performances. When applicable, and with due regard to the safety of the individuals, cast and crew, women and minorities were to be considered for doubling roles and for descript and non-descript stunts on a functional, non-discriminatory basis.

The Producers and the Pension and Health Plans

Performers who meet the eligibility criteria of working a certain number of days or attaining a certain threshold in income derived from SAG productions could join the Producers Pension and Health Plans offered by the Guild. The eligibility requirements varied by age of the performer and the desired plan chosen (there were two health plans). There were also Dental, Vision, and Life & Disability coverage included as part of the two plans. [15]

Residuals

The Guild secured residuals payments in perpetuity to its members for broadcast and re-broadcast of films, TV shows, and TV commercials through clauses in the basic SAG agreements with producers.

Major strikes and boycotts

Early strikes

In July 1948, a strike was averted at the last minute as the SAG and major producers agreed upon a new collective bargaining contract. The major points agreed upon included: full union shop for actors to continue, negotiations for films sent direct to TV, producers could not sue an actor for breach of contract if they strike (but the guild could only strike when the contract expires). [16]

In March 1960, SAG went on strike against the seven major studios. This was the first industry-wide strike in the 50-year history of movie making. Earlier walkouts involved production for television. The Writers Guild of America had been on strike since January 31, 1960 with similar demands to the actors. The independents were not affected since they signed new contracts. The dispute rested on actors wanting to be paid 6% or 7% of the gross earnings of pictures made since 1948 and sold to television. Actors also wanted a pension and welfare fund. [17]

In December 1978, members of SAG went on strike for the fourth time in its 45-year history. It joined the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in picket lines in Los Angeles and New York. The unions said that management's demand would cut actors' salaries. The argument was over filming commercials. Management agreed to up salaries from $218 to $250 per scene, but if the scene were not used at all, the actor would not be paid. [18]

Strike and Emmy Awards boycott of 1980

In July, SAG members walked out on strike, along with AFTRA, the union for television and radio artists, and the American Federation of Musicians. The union joined the television artists in calling for a successful boycott against that year's prime-time Emmy awards. Powers Boothe was the only one of the 52 nominated actors to attend: "This is either the most courageous moment of my career or the dumbest" he quipped during his acceptance speech. The guild ratified a new pact, for a 32.25% increase in minimum salaries and a 4.5% share of movies made for pay TV, and the strike ended on October 25. [19]

The commercials strike of 2000

The commercials strike of 2000 was extremely controversial. Some factions within SAG call it a success, asserting that it not only saved Pay-Per-Play (residuals) but it also increased cable residuals by 140% up from $1,014 to $2,460. Others suggested almost identical terms were available in negotiation without a strike. In the wake of the strike, SAG, and its sister union AFTRA, gathered evidence on over 1,500 non-members who had worked during the strike. SAG trial boards found Elizabeth Hurley and Tiger Woods guilty of performing in non-union commercials and each was fined $100,000. [20]

Beyond the major studios

SAG Principal members could not work on non-union productions. Union background actors were not fully covered nationwide and could work non-union outside the background zones. These background zones included the state of Hawaii, 4 zones in California, Las Vegas NV, and a 300-mile radius around New York City. Many film schools had SAG Student Film Agreements with the Guild to allow SAG actors to work in their projects. SAGIndie was formed in 1997 to promote using SAG actors; SAG also had Low Budget Contracts that were meant to encourage the use of SAG members on films produced outside of the major studios and to prevent film productions from leaving the country, known as "Runaway production". In the fight against "Runaway production", the SAG National Board voted unanimously to support the Film and Television Action Committee (FTAC) and its 301(a) Petition which asked the US Trade Representative to investigate Canadian film subsidies for their violation of trade agreements Canada signed with the United States.

Financial core

Financial core, or Fi-Core, was a payment to a union to allow someone to work in a union environment without being a member of the union. The concept was defined in 1963 by Supreme Court case Labor Board v. General Motors [21] and clarified for the communications industry in 1988 via Communications Workers of America v. Beck .

Approximately 96% of normal union dues must have been paid to be a Financial Core member of the SAG, [21] [22] and Financial Core members may not "represent themselves as Screen Actors Guild members." [23] Additionally, the Screen Actors Guild said "Fi-Core/FPNM are viewed as scabs ... by SAG members, directors, and writers—most of whom also belong to entertainment unions". [23] This statement had been met with skepticism by some. [21] [24]

Former SAG President Charlton Heston was apparently a supporter of Fi-Core. [24] [25] [26] [27]

National Women's Committee

Entertainment remains among the most gender unequal industries in the United States. The National Women's Committee operated within the National Statement of Purpose to promote equal employment opportunities for its female SAG members. It also encouraged positive images of women in film and television, in order to end sexual stereotypes and educate the industry about the representation of women, both in numbers and quality of representation. [28]

SAG Women's Committee had been dedicated to working towards strategic objectives adopted from the Fourth World Conference on Women Beijing Platform of 1995. These objectives included supporting research into all aspects of women and the media so as to define areas needing attention and action. The SAG Hollywood Division Women's Committee also encouraged the media to refrain from presenting women as inferior beings and exploiting them as sexual objects and commodities. [28]

Woman's Committee timeline

Historical leadership: 1933-2012

Presidents of SAG [34]
PresidentTerm
Ralph Morgan 1933
Eddie Cantor 1933-1935
Robert Montgomery 1935-1938
Ralph Morgan 1938-1940
Edward Arnold 1940-1942
James Cagney 1942-1944
George Murphy 1944-1946
Robert Montgomery 1946-1947
Ronald Reagan 1947-1952
Walter Pidgeon 1952-1957
Leon Ames 1957-1958
Howard Keel 1958-1959
Ronald Reagan 1959-1960
George Chandler 1960-1963
Dana Andrews 1963-1965
Charlton Heston 1965-1971
John Gavin 1971-1973
Dennis Weaver 1973-1975
Kathleen Nolan 1975-1979
William Schallert 1979-1981
Edward Asner 1981-1985
Patty Duke 1985-1988
Barry Gordon 1988-1995
Richard Masur 1995-1999
William Daniels 1999-2001
Melissa Gilbert 2001–2005
Alan Rosenberg 2005–2009
Ken Howard 2009–2012

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 US Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. File number 000-113. Report submitted April 20, 2012.
  2. 1 2 "SAG, AFTRA Members Approve Merger to Form SAG-AFTRA" (Press release). SAG-AFTRA. March 30, 2012. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  3. "Mission Statement". SAG Official Website.
  4. London Academy of Media, Film & TV, The Screen Actors Guild Archived 2013-07-26 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Pause after Screen Actors Guild contract expires". Yahoo News . Archived from the original on July 28, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  6. "The Masquers Club official site". Archived from the original on January 14, 2006. Retrieved February 1, 2006.
  7. HERBERT MITGANG. Dangerous Dossiers: exposing the secret war against America's greatest authors. New York City, NY: Donald I. Fine, Inc, pp 31-33
  8. Krizman, Greg. "Hollywood Remembers the Blacklist" Archived 2007-02-03 at the Wayback Machine , Screen Actor, January 1998 (special edition)
  9. "Actress Edith Diaz dies at 70". The Hollywood Reporter . February 8, 2010. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  10. 1 2 3 US Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. File number 000-113. (Search)
  11. US Department of Labor , Office of Labor-Management Standards . File number 000-391. ( Search )
  12. Handel, Jonathan (January 24, 2012). "SAG-AFTRA Merger Means Tougher Admissions, Potentially Costlier Membership". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  13. Archived October 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. "Global Rule One". SAG-AFTRA. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  15. "Health BenefitTabs-Eligibility". Archived from the original on December 19, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  16. Actors' Strike Threat Fades; Points Agreed. (July 8, 1948). Los Angeles Times, p. A1. Retrieved June 24, 2008
  17. ACTORS START STRIKE AT 7 MAJOR STUDIOS: Guild Turns Down Proposal to Finish Work on 8 Movies. (March 7, 1960). Los Angeles Times, p. 1. Retrieved June 24, 2008
  18. HARRY BERNSTEIN (December 20, 1978). Actors in Radio, TV Commercials Strike :Unions Say Ad Agencies Seek More Work for Less Money. Los Angeles Times, p. oc_a12. Retrieved June 24, 2008
  19. Facts on File 1980 Yearbook, p805
  20. McNary, Dave (October 29, 2001). "SAG Members Criticize Clooney". ABC News. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  21. 1 2 3 "FiCore Information". Fi-Core.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  22. "Fi-Core FAQ by Bizparentz.com". Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  23. 1 2 "Get The Facts About Financial Core" . Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  24. 1 2 "Lani Minella on Fi-Core". Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  25. "Dave Courvoisier on Fi-Core". April 4, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  26. "Fi-Core.com - Resources". Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  27. "Mark Pirro on Fi-Core". April 19, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  28. 1 2 "Women's Committee". Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 "SAG History - SAG Timeline". Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  30. "Professional Women: Vital Statistics" (PDF). Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO. April 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  31. Taylor, Ella (October 21, 2009). "The New Generation of Female Filmmakers". Elle Magazine. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  32. Merin, Jennifer (February 28, 2009). "Women on Film - Dr. Martha Lauzen's 2009 Celluloid Ceiling Report". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  33. Dargis, Manohla (December 10, 2009). "Women in the Seats but Not Behind the Camera". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  34. "SAG Presidents". SAG–AFTRA. Retrieved July 20, 2023.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Actors' Equity Association</span> American labor union for theater performers

The Actors' Equity Association (AEA), commonly called Actors' Equity or simply Equity, is an American labor union representing those who work in live theatrical performance. Performers appearing in live stage productions without a book or through-storyline may be represented by the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA). The AEA works to negotiate quality living conditions, livable wages, and benefits for performers and stage managers. A theater or production that is not produced and performed by AEA members may be called "non-Equity".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Equity (British trade union)</span> British trade union for creative professionals

Equity, formerly officially titled the British Actors' Equity Association, is the trade union for the performing arts and entertainment industries in the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American Federation of Television and Radio Artists</span> Performers union (1937–2012)

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) was a performers' union that represented a wide variety of talent, including actors in radio and television, radio and television announcers and newspersons, singers and recording artists, promo and voice-over announcers and other performers in commercials, stunt persons and specialty acts—as the organization itself publicly stated, "AFTRA's membership includes an array of talent". On March 30, 2012, the members of AFTRA and of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) voted to merge and form SAG-AFTRA.

Residuals are financial compensations that are paid to the actors, film or television directors, and others involved in making TV shows and movies in cases of the cable reruns, syndication, DVD release, or licensing to streaming media. Residuals are calculated and administered by industry trade unions like SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, and the Writers Guild of America. The word is typically used in the plural form.

The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, also known as The Animation Guild, or TAG is a professional guild and union of animation artists, writers and technicians. The full name of the organization is The Animation Guild and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts, Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories and Canada, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations/Canadian Labour Congress.

A background actor or extra is a performer in a film, television show, stage, musical, opera, or ballet production who appears in a nonspeaking or nonsinging (silent) capacity, usually in the background. War films and epic films often employ background actors in large numbers: some films have featured hundreds or even thousands of paid background actors as cast members. Likewise, grand opera can involve many background actors appearing in spectacular productions.

An Equity card is proof of membership in the Actors' Equity Association of the United States or Equity in the United Kingdom.

Financial Core refers to a legal carve-out that permits workers opposed to participating in a labor union to be employed under the benefits of a union's contracts without compelling them to be a member of that union.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Screen Actors Guild Awards</span> Accolade given by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Screen Actors Guild Awards are accolades given by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). The award was founded in 1995 to recognize outstanding performances in movie and prime time television. SAG Awards have been one of the major awards events in the Hollywood film industry since then, along with the Golden Globe Awards and the Oscars. SAG awards focus both on individual performances and on the work of the entire ensemble of a drama series and comedy series, and the cast of a motion picture.

The 1960 Writers Guild of America strike was a labor dispute between the Guild and the Alliance of Television Film Producers. It lasted 148 days, from January 16 to June 12, 1960.

An under-five, also known as an under-5 or a U/5, is a television or film actor whose character has fewer than five lines of dialogue. The term is used in SAG-AFTRA contracts and has been used when referring to performers in a daytime soap opera.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leslie Hoffman</span> American actress

Leslie Hoffman is a former American stunt performer, stunt coordinator, and actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yale Summers</span> American actor

Yale Summers was an American actor and producer, whose credits included the 1960s CBS television series, Daktari, with Marshall Thompson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">SAG-AFTRA</span> American media labor union

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is an American labor union that reflects the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA. It represents approximately 160,000 media professionals worldwide. SAG-AFTRA is a member of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States. SAG-AFTRA is also a member of the International Federation of Actors (FIA).

From October 2016, to November 2017, SAG-AFTRA, representing voice actors went on strike against 11 American video game companies over failed contract renegotiation terms of the Interactive Media Agreements that had been in discussion since February 2015. Principally, the union sought to have actors and voice and motion capture performers that contribute to video games be better compensated with residuals based on video game sales atop their existing recording payments, while the industry companies asserted that the industry as a whole eschews the use of residuals, and by giving the actors these, they would trivialize the efforts of the developers that are most responsible for the development of the games. In exchange, the companies had offered a fixed increase in rates and a sliding-scale upfront bonus for multiple recording sessions, which the union had rejected. Other issues highlighted by the strike action include better transparency in what roles and conditions actors would perform, more safety precautions and oversight to avoid vocal stress for certain roles, and better safety assurances for actors while on set.

Michael Hodge was an American actor and labor union executive known for his recurring roles on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where he often portrayed judges and detectives. Hodge was a longtime union activist and board member for the former Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and its successor, SAG-AFTRA, for more than sixteen years.

A nationwide strike by the members of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the American Association of Advertising Agencies began on May 1, 2000, and ended on October 30, 2000.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1980 actors strike</span> Labor action in United States

The 1980 actors strike was a labor strike held in July–October 1980 by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), two labor unions representing actors in the American film industry. The strike was caused by a breakdown in labor contract negotiations between the two unions and representatives of film studios, television networks, and other independent producers. The primary point of contention regarded residuals from home media, such as videocassettes and pay television. Specifically, the union was seeking a form of profit sharing wherein they would receive a percentage of the revenue made from home media releases. Additionally, the unions wanted a 35 percent salary increase across the board for their members. By mid-July, the union and industry representatives were at an impasse, and the strike started on July 21. Several days later, the American Federation of Musicians also went on strike for similar reasons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2023 SAG-AFTRA strike</span> American media labor dispute

From July 14 to November 9, 2023, the American actors' union SAG-AFTRA was on strike over a labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). As the longest strike in SAG-AFTRA history, its combined impact with the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike resulted in the loss of 45,000 jobs, and "an estimated $6.5 billion" loss to the economy of Southern California. According to Deadline Hollywood, the "harshest pain" was "perhaps felt among the below-the-line workers who've had to sell or mortgage their homes, and wipe through IRAs to survive."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2023 Hollywood labor disputes</span> American media labor disputes

From May 2 to November 9, 2023, a series of long labor disputes within the film and television industries of the United States took place, mainly focused on the strikes of the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA. It was the second time two Hollywood labor unions were striking simultaneously — the first having occurred in 1960 – and as such, the American news media named this phenomenon the "Hollywood double strike", and surpassed the 1960 dual strike as well. By November 9, 2023, both the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA had reached tentative deals with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and ended their strikes.