Actors Equity Association, the union representing stage theater actors and stage managers, expressed its solidarity with the actors currently striking in Hollywood, but shows will continue as planned in the theatrical world.

“Shame on them,” Actors Equity President Kate Shindle says in a statement issued on behalf of the union. “Performers deserve to share in the success of the work we do for these global, multi-billion dollar companies.”

SAG-AFTRA actors shut down productions this week by announcing their strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, joining the WGA writers guild members who were already striking, effectively crippling movie and television production until resolved. Many Equity members hold dual membership with SAG-AFTRA based on appearing both on stage and on screen, but the Equity contracts with theatrical venues are separate, and not currently under any dispute.

Equity members have previously expressed solidarity with the striking WGA members, joining picket lines in New York last month.

The full statement from Shindle is included below:

Actors’ Equity Association stands in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA as they strike in pursuit of a fair TV/ Theatrical/Streaming contract from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Performers deserve to share in the success of the work we do for these global, multi-billion-dollar companies. Nobody should step in front of a camera fearing that today’s work will be mined, manipulated or repurposed in the future without consent or compensation. And like all workers, SAG-AFTRA members deserve to have employers bargain in good faith toward a strong contract that will remain relevant in a rapidly evolving medium. The AMPTP’s behavior once again prioritizes shareholders over the workers who create their hugely profitable content, instead of simply making a deal to get everyone back to work. Shame on them.

The work stoppage stems from a failure for either the writers or actors unions to come to terms with the producers groups related to a changing entertainment business ecosystem with streaming disrupting the traditional model of payments to performers and writers. The unions say that the businesses behind productions are reaping unfair percentages of the revenue generated by the performances, while the production companies say the creatives are making unrealistic demands.

“We stand tall,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher told reporters this week when the strike was announced. “You have to wake up and smell the coffee. We are labor and we stand tall and demand respect and to be honored for our contribution. You share the wealth because you cannot exist without us.”

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