SAG-AFTRA Sees Many Actors “Safe-Spacing” At Home For Months

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SAG-AFTRA Foundation says he sees many performers not working for a few more months due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation president Courtney B. Vance offered a message of hope during one of his weekly “fireside chats.” However, he cautioned performers should expect to stay at home for “a few more months.”

In his video message to union members, Vance says, “I know that many of you are preparing for a few more months of continued safe-spacing in your homes.”

He added, “Now, while that may not have been the timeline most of us were wishing for, I hope you’ll continue to take care of your bodies and your minds. Our health is paramount right now for getting us through this, and I hope you’ll continue to prioritize it. Remember, we’re all in this together.”

“We all have some very strong emotions right through here. We’re living in unprecedented times. In the blink of an eye, life as we knew it completely shifted – seemingly overnight. As performers, we may have more emotions than most. Now with that said, I want to encourage you all, in a safe environment, of course, to let it out. If you need to yell – yell; if you need to project – sing, monologue, dance – put it out there. Every day, if need be. Let that energy loose. Unleash your nerves, your fears, your frustrations – get rid of them. And then breathe, refocus and begin again dealing with our journey. We’re going to get through this together, one day at a time. So until next week, stay safe; stay connected, and stay home. Grace and peace.”

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has given more than $4 million to members of SAG-AFTRA who are in dire need of assistance, “with hundreds of applications still in review. Aid is now taking less than two weeks to reach members, so we appreciate your continued patience. As always, we’re working as quickly as we can.”

This news comes after SAG-AFTRA announced members to not accept offers to take job opportunities without getting permission from the union, according to a Deadline report.

Deadline spoke to a spokesperson about the new mandate. The spokesperson explained, “This notice to members is an enforcement and organizing action which longstanding board policy authorizes staff to implement. We have heard from numerous members who were being asked to sign away their right to a safe workplace. Our contracts clearly prevent companies from abdicating their responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. In such circumstances, SAG-AFTRA staff are required to take immediate effective action to enforce the contract and protect SAG-AFTRA members. Producers interested in offering work to SAG-AFTRA members can call the union to ensure they are providing a safe workplace.”

Original Post: May 16, 2020: SAG-AFTRA announces members to not accept offers to take job opportunities without getting permission from the union, according to a Deadline report.

On Thursday, SAG-AFTRA issued a safety notice saying, “In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the attendant high risk to the health and safety of actors returning to work in the commercials and entertainment industry, no member should return to work under an existing contract or accept a contract for new employment without first securing the approval of the union. Members must contact the union to ensure that they are accepting work that SAG-AFTRA has evaluated and established that the producer/employer has made provision for, and met adequate health and safety standards.”

Deadline spoke to a spokesperson about the new mandate. The spokesperson explained, “This notice to members is an enforcement and organizing action which longstanding board policy authorizes staff to implement. We have heard from numerous members who were being asked to sign away their right to a safe workplace. Our contracts clearly prevent companies from abdicating their responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. In such circumstances, SAG-AFTRA staff are required to take immediate effective action to enforce the contract and protect SAG-AFTRA members. Producers interested in offering work to SAG-AFTRA members can call the union to ensure they are providing a safe workplace.”

In relevant news, Tyler Perry will start production at Tyler Perry Studios this July 8th.

Several weeks ago, Tyler Perry was one of the first Hollywood producers to create a plan to restart filming. Now, he is the first producer to announce start dates for his television shows. On July 8, Tyler Perry will start two BET series including ‘Sistas’ and ‘The Oval’. As a result, production will start shortly at Tyler Perry Studios.

Related: Looking for a Job? Tyler Perry Studios is Now Hiring

According to Deadline, ‘Sistas’ will start filming on July 8 in Atlanta, Georgia, and ‘The Oval’ will start filming on July 28th. Both series were renewed by BET after receiving high ratings in their first seasons. Tyler Perry will reportedly film 44 episodes in a little over one month.

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