FAQS FOR MEMBERS
Why has the SAG-AFTRA National Board called a strike on TV, theatrical and streaming work? What are the issues we are striking over? And what kind of work CAN you do? Find out all this and more in our Strike FAQs. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you may contact us at email@example.com.
Click HERE for a glossary of commonly used strike-related terms.
The industry has been transformed by the shift to streaming and compensation has been undermined by inflation. The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the major studios and streamers, including Amazon/MGM, Apple, NBCUniversal, Disney/ABC/Fox, Netflix, Paramount/CBS, Sony and Warner Brothers, refused to offer a fair agreement that addresses these existential threats.
Why is SAG-AFTRA on strike?
The TV/Theatrical Agreements with the AMPTP were initially set to expire on June 30, 2023. On that date, the Negotiating Committee unanimously decided to allow additional time to negotiate by extending the contract until 11:59 p.m. PT on July 12, 2023, but despite this additional time, the AMPTP has failed to reach a fair and equitable agreement.
When did the current TV/Theatrical contract expire?
The strike began at 12:01 a.m. PT on Friday, July 14 and picketing began at 9 a.m. PT. Other picket locations will be announced as confirmed. Please click HERE for a complete list of picket schedules and locations.
When did the TV/Theatrical/Streaming strike begin?
The strike rules can be found in the Strike Notice and Order sent to members on Thursday, July 13, and available HERE. These rules describe members’ obligations during a work stoppage. More detail regarding how the rules apply to specific circumstances can be found in these FAQs, and you are bound to follow any rules or interpretations set forth in these FAQs. Rules may be amended and interpretations may evolve over time so be sure to regularly check the FAQs as you have specific questions.
Where can I read the rules that apply to the strike?
The most important way to support the strike is to follow the strike rules. View picket locations to find the closest picket to you. If the employers are able to get their work done and their products promoted without a fair contract in place, they have little incentive to return to the table and the strike will take much longer to resolve.
SAG-AFTRA will keep all members informed of picket and rally locations, and the information will also be posted to this website. We encourage all SAG-AFTRA members and non-members alike to show solidarity and join the picket line or rallies.
We also strongly encourage members and supporters to use their social media to support the strike. You will be able to find graphics in our Social Media Toolkit. Use the hashtags #SAGAFTRAstrike and #SAGAFTRAstrong.
Those who are able are also encouraged to donate to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Emergency Assistance Program to support fellow members in urgent need.
How can I support the strike?
In general, a strike means that no SAG-AFTRA member may perform covered services or work for a struck company. Covered services and performing work that members are prohibited from providing while we’re on strike include but are not limited to:
Principal on camera work, such as:
Piloting on-camera aircraft
Performance capture or motion capture work;
Principal off-camera work, such as:
TV Trailers (promos) and Theatrical Trailers
Narration, including audio descriptive services except as the services may be covered by another collective bargaining agreement referred in the Notice to Members Regarding Non-Struck Work
Stunt coordinating and related services
Photo and/or body doubling
Fittings, wardrobe tests, and makeup tests
Rehearsals and camera tests
Interviews and auditions (including via self-tape) for roles
Promotion/publicity services, such as:
For your consideration events
Negotiating and/or entering into and/or consenting to:
An agreement to perform covered services in the future
Any new agreement related to merchandising connected to a covered project
The creation and use of digital replicas, including through the reuse of prior work
Performing on a trailer for a struck production or other ancillary content connected to a struck production
If you still have questions about whether something is prohibited during the strike, you can call 877-8 STRIKE (877-878-7453), and email SAGAFTRAstrike@sagaftra.org.
What am I prohibited from doing during the strike?
All work and services under the Producer-SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement, the Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement and related contracts is struck work. This includes contracts that incorporate the TV/Theatrical terms like:
SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement for High Budget Original or Derivative Programs
Special New Media Agreements
Low Budget Theatrical Agreement (LBA)
Moderate Low Budget Project Agreement (MPA)
Ultra Low Budget Project Agreement (UPA)
Members may be able to work on projects produced by independent production companies under these agreements if such projects qualify for an Interim Agreement.
If you are a producer and would like to apply for an Interim Agreement, please contact your assigned business representative. If you have questions about the Interim Agreement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What TV/Theatrical/Streaming contracts are considered struck contracts?
What productions are affected by the strike?
Members can work under a number of SAG-AFTRA contracts, including:
Television and Radio Commercials
Television Programs Covered by the Network Code
Sound Recordings and Music Videos
Corporate/Educational & Non Broadcast (formerly “Industrial”)
Station Contracts and Broadcast News
Cameo for Business Agreement
Short Project Agreement (SPA)
Micro Budget Agreement (Micro)
Student Film Agreement (Student)
Additionally, performance of audio description work is only struck when completed under the TV/Theatrical Contracts, and is not struck in other circumstances, including when the work is completed under any of the above-listed agreements.
A complete list of non-struck work was provided in the Notice to Members Regarding Non-Struck Work. If you are uncertain about whether or not you can audition for, accept or continue working on a project, email email@example.com.
What work CAN members engage in?
How do I know what contract a production is signed to?
Yes, there are a number of organizations offering a variety of forms of financial assistance to performers and other members of the entertainment industry.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation operates an Emergency Assistance Program for SAG-AFTRA members. Please visit the Foundation's website for eligibility guidelines and the application to apply for a grant.
The Entertainment Community Fund’s Emergency Assistance Program provides temporary financial assistance to entertainment industry workers with documented financial need.
MPTF offers needs-based temporary financial assistance to qualified industry members
The SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union offers Work Disruption Loans for credit union members.
Is there financial assistance available to members who are impacted by the strike?
Qualifications for unemployment insurance vary by state. For the most up-to-date and accurate information, please refer to your state’s unemployment office. A full list of state offices and contact information is available here.
Do I qualify for unemployment insurance if I’m not working because I’m on strike?
No, a strike will not interrupt benefits previously earned. Current health coverage will continue without interruption as long as you have met the minimum requirements. If you have questions regarding your current benefits, you should contact SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Participant Services at (800) 777-4013 to discuss your specific eligibility scenario. For more information on coverage, please click HERE.
Are pension and health benefits suspended during a strike?
We understand this is an area of great concern for members and one of the reasons the decision to strike has not been made lightly. Unfortunately, your health insurance will not be extended due to a strike, however there are a number of alternative coverage and assistance options available to you.
If you do not meet the minimum earnings or days requirement for continued earned eligibility, you will receive a notice advising you of your options, including the Health Plan's COBRA program and conversion options. If you are totally disabled, you may be entitled to an extension of coverage.
If you lose your current Active Plan coverage, you may be eligible for the Extended Career COBRA benefit. For 2023, if you have at least $20,400 in covered earnings and at least 12 Extended Career Credits, you may be eligible for a reduced premium of 20% of the COBRA premium. For more information, go to sagaftraplans.org/health/premiums and scroll to "Extended Career COBRA Premiums.”
Additionally, residents of New York State may be eligible for the COBRA Premium Assistance Program for Entertainment Industry Employees - please click the link for more information. You can also seek private insurance coverage through a state health insurance exchange such as Covered California. Please go to healthcare.gov for more information.
Additional resources are available from the following organizations:
Union Plus offers grants and benefits to support members during a strike.
Entertainment Community Fund (formerly Actors Fund)
The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly Actors Fund) is a national human services organization that helps performing arts and entertainment professionals in need with programs and services.
Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF)
MPTF supports working and retired members of the entertainment community with a safety net of health and social services, including temporary financial assistance, case management, and residential living.
The Artists Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC)
AHIRC provides comprehensive, unbiased, one-on-one health insurance counseling and enrollment services and educational seminars to members of the entertainment and performing arts community in the eastern region (including Illinois and Minnesota).
Samuel J. Friedman Health Center
The Samuel J. Friedman Health Center offers primary care, specialty care and preventive care in New York City, in partnership with Mount Sinai Doctors.
More information is available HERE
What happens if I’m not able to meet eligibility requirements for the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan next year as a result of the strike? Will my health insurance be extended? If not, what help can SAG-AFTRA provide?
The Commercials Contract is a separate agreement with its own "no strike" clause. Accordingly, if the commercial employer is signatory to the Commercials Contract, you may accept commercial employment with that employer. You should not, however, consent to the use of a commercial clip into struck work or consent to a clip or music from struck work to be placed into a commercial. Remember that an important part of a strike action is to assert economic pressure on the struck employers, so any services that benefit the struck employers’ bottom line, like getting your consent to reuse your work, must be withheld for the strike to be effective.
Are there any restrictions regarding members doing commercial work?
The Commercials Contract is a separate agreement with its own "no strike" clause. Accordingly, if the commercial employer is signatory to the Commercials Contract, you may not be disciplined for accepting commercial employment with that employer, even if struck work is also referenced in the commercial. You may also choose, however, to decline such work in solidarity with your fellow members. If the employer is not a Commercials Contract signatory, then Global Rule 1 prohibits accepting the work regardless of whether it references a struck project.
Can I work on a commercial that cross-promotes struck work? For example, a soda commercial that also promotes a theatrical motion picture?
Officially called the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, but better known as the Network Television Code, is its own contract and remains unstruck. That means members can work on Network Television Code productions, such as variety shows, talk shows, game shows, award shows, and soap operas.
What is the Network Code?
Promos produced under the Network Code are not struck work. This is true even if the promotional announcement is promoting struck programs/shows. Accordingly, if the employer is signatory to the Network Code, you will not be disciplined for accepting employment with that employer, even if struck work is also referenced in the promo. You may also choose, however, to decline such work in solidarity with your fellow members.
Can I do promos produced under the Network Code for struck work?
Yes, the only work that is being struck is that which falls under the TV/Theatrical Contracts, so you would be permitted to work under the Public Television Agreement. Work under the Sesame Workshop Agreement is also permitted. Please make sure you specifically inquire about which contract you would be working under before accepting a job.
Can I work under the Public Television Agreement?
The only work that is being struck is that which falls under the TV/Theatrical Contracts, so, you would be permitted to work under the Network Code, Commercials or other contracts for a struck company. Please make sure you specifically inquire about which contract you would be working under before accepting a job. You may also choose, however, to decline such work in solidarity with your fellow members.
If a company is struck over the TV/Theatrical Contracts, can I still work for them under the Network Code or Commercials or other contracts?
Dubbing work is not within the scope of the strike order.
Does the strike impact dubbing?
Audio description work completed under the TV/Theatrical Contracts listed in the union's strike notice is struck, however audio description work not completed under those agreements (including where it is completed under the Network Code, WGBH Descriptive Video Services Agreement or any other agreement listed in the Notice to Members Regarding Non-Struck Work remains unstruck and permissible during the strike.
Does the strike order apply to audio description work?
We support and encourage you to work under our non-struck contracts during this strike. Under Global Rule One, you cannot work for companies producing television, theatrical or streaming content unless they are signed to one of our collective bargaining agreements not affected by this strike, such as the Network Code or any of the lowest budget agreements such as the SPA, Micro, and Student Film Agreement. This includes not promoting this type of work during the strike.
Global Rule One, which binds all members, states:
“No member shall render any services or make an agreement to perform services for any employer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the union, which is in full force and effect, in any jurisdiction in which there is a SAG-AFTRA national collective bargaining agreement in place. This provision applies worldwide.”
Can I work for companies that are not struck companies and/or on productions not covered by the struck contracts during the strike?
No, you may not audition, interview, test, talk, negotiate, etc. for struck work during the strike, even if that work is planned or anticipated to take place after the strike is resolved.
Can I audition for struck work that will happen in the future when the strike is over?
For the duration of the strike, your personal service agreement for struck work for struck companies will be deemed automatically suspended, both in terms of service and compensation. Our CBA provides that you will not incur any liability for breach of your contract by respecting the strike order, provided that when the strike is over, you return to work. The union will provide further guidance on this topic when the strike is over.
You may honor separate contracts for other services that were entered into prior to the strike, such as promotional podcast hosting duties or influencer agreements to promote movie premieres. In general, do not enter into new contracts for promotional services relating to struck work. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.
What happens if I am under contract for film or television production at the time of the strike?
Your option periods are suspended during the strike, meaning that once the strike is over, the amount of time that was left in your option period prior to the strike will remain available.
What happens if I am under an option?
The strike order includes work on foreign productions that have signed to the full Codified Basic Agreement and Television Agreement, including new media. If you are working on a foreign production in a foreign country and that production is covered by a performers' union in that country, even if you have a GR1, please contact SAG-AFTRA for more information at email@example.com.
Will the strike impact work on foreign productions? What if I have a Global Rule One memorandum of agreement?
Regardless of when you are notified about it or when you auditioned for it, you cannot accept or perform struck work from a struck company.
What if I have already auditioned for a job and I get it after a strike is called?
No, there should be no deal negotiations after a strike begins. Members must immediately notify their agent and/or other representatives to discontinue conducting negotiations on their behalf regardless of when the negotiations began.
Should my agent or representative continue to negotiate on my behalf with the AMPTP companies?
No, you must not enter into any contracts for struck work during the strike, even if the work would occur post-strike.
During a strike, can I enter into an agreement for a job that will commence post-strike?
If production resumes after the strike, the employer may require you to resume your employment and may require you to sign a new employment contract, but note that an employer is not obligated to rehire you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your particular engagement.
Do employers have an obligation to rehire me for a job after a strike ends?
Federal labor law protects performers from being retaliated against for participating in concerted union activity, such as a strike. SAG-AFTRA is very aware of performer concerns about retaliation when striking and picketing and does everything it can to protect performers from this happening. If you believe that you have been retaliated against for striking or picketing, please contact email@example.com to discuss the situation.
Am I at risk of retaliation by a current or potential employer for striking or picketing?
Yes. Any existing work performed for an AMPTP Company prior to the strike is not impacted. You may continue to accept residual payments. If you believe you are not being paid appropriately, you can file a claim with the union HERE.
Will I continue to get residuals during the strike?
Any member that disregards the Strike Notice and Order and/or SAG-AFTRA Membership Rules, including but not limited to Rule 1(A), shall be subject to discipline consistent with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution. Penalties for such violations may include censure, reprimand, fine, suspension, and/or expulsion.
What are the consequences if I violate the Strike Notice and Order?
To ensure compliance with the rule to withhold all covered services, members who are also employed in non-performing capacities should consult with SAG-AFTRA by emailing SAGAFTRAstrike@sagaftra.org in advance of performing any work on a struck production. To the extent prohibited under applicable law, SAG-AFTRA will not discipline members for purely non-covered work done in other non-performing capacities.
Am I able to perform non-covered services I am contractually obligated to perform by struck companies?
The National Board and the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee have discretion with respect to rules/conditions governing the strike and they have the ability to adjust strike rules as necessary.
What else should members know about the strike rules?
Yes and no. The following low budget contracts are not affected by the strike: Micro, SPA, and Independent New Media Agreement (Deferrable). The rest of our low budget contracts, with exception of non-dramatic, are affected. Members may only work for a UPA, MPA, LBA or Special New Media Agreement project if it qualifies for and signs the Interim Agreement. If your company would like to apply for an Interim Agreement, please review our website here: sagaftrastrike.org/interim-agreement.
Will the strike impact independent / low budget producers of features, television, and new media?
This Interim Agreement was created for several reasons, all of which are aimed at protecting the interests of our members, helping them successfully navigate the strike and demonstrating to the AMPTP that other producers are eager to work with our members under these terms.
The Interim Agreement ensures that our members are able to work for these non-struck companies.
Working with these independent producers proves that the wage increases and other terms, which the AMPTP has so far rejected, are in fact reasonable and realistic.
The members will receive the full benefit of the improved terms of our interim agreement during the strike, including if and when an Interim Agreement project is distributed
Prior to a ratified deal with the AMPTP stemming from our negotiations, the agreement will demonstrate that our proposed residuals formulas, including the streaming revenue-sharing, are economically viable within our industry.
After a ratified deal with the AMPTP, the Interim Agreement will conform to our final terms, terms which will fairly compensate and protect our members.
The Interim Agreement encourages production budgets to be directed to union-covered projects employing union members rather than fueling a pipeline of non-union foreign productions.
The Interim Agreement is a vital part of our strategic approach to these negotiations and to the strike. If the AMPTP continues to refuse to bargain, our strategy denies them the ability to freely make their own original productions, allowing everyone other than the AMPTP to produce content with our members. We urge independent producers to apply and encourage SAG-AFTRA members to work on the projects that obtain an Interim Agreement, along with all of the other permissible work we support.
Why are we entering into Interim Agreements with independent producers?
Information on the Interim Agreement can be reviewed in the Interim Agreement section of our website, which includes a sample Interim Agreement, a list of productions approved and signed to the Interim Agreement, and details on how to apply for the Interim Agreement. Please note, SAG-AFTRA has the discretion to decide if it will offer an Interim Agreement to a specific production after receiving and reviewing an application for it, and productions will have to be vetted by SAG-AFTRA to determine if they qualify for the Interim Agreement.
What are the terms of the “Interim Agreement?”
The National Board and the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee have discretion with respect to rules/conditions governing independent productions during the strike, and they have the ability to adjust strike rules as necessary. If you have any questions, contact SAGAFTRAstrike@sagaftra.org.
What else do I need to know about interim agreements?
The current strike rules define “promote” very broadly in order to achieve maximum impact to the studios, networks, and streamers. Your voice is powerful to your fans. Without it, the studios, networks, and streamers lose leverage. No promotion therefore means no photos, videos, social media posts, interviews, appearances, panels, discussions, in-character magazine covers, press conferences, red carpets, junkets, press releases, press kits, etc. that promote struck work or struck companies.
This includes work done in the past. Streamers and networks are directing fans to past content to fill the void resulting from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The streamers in particular hold older content hostage on their platforms, resulting in no “move-over” residuals, while also paying a streaming residual that does not reflect the value of the content to the streamers. We cannot help them to promote that work when they will not pay the performers their fair share of the resulting revenues.
This also means no promotion of any struck work, even work you did not appear in. Your influence carries weight with your fans. Let’s stand in solidarity together now to promote our cause so that we can promote each other’s projects in the future after we’ve won a fair contract.
What does it mean when the strike rules say we can’t promote struck work? Does this include work done in the past? Does it also include work I wasn’t even in?
No. You are not able to make promotional appearances relating to struck work for the duration of the strike.
Can I participate in promotional and/or “For Your Consideration” events for my projects done for struck companies?
No. You are not able to participate in media interviews that promote struck work for the duration of the strike.
Can I participate in media interviews?
This depends on what you are doing. You may not attend or appear on an award show to promote a struck project (whether nominated or not) or accept an award for performance in a struck production. You are encouraged to attend and accept awards for projects covered by the SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement.
You should honor any contractual commitments to work on an award show, such as in the capacity of hosting or performing in a skit. This is because award shows are considered non-dramatic programs and are covered under agreements such as the Network Code and Big Shows Agreement, which have their own no-strike clauses and are therefore not subject to a strike of the TV/Theatrical Agreements. You should honor any contractual commitments to work on an award show, such as in the capacity of hosting or performing in a skit. If you have any questions relating to this distinction, please contact SAGAFTRAstrike@sagaftra.org.
Can I attend or appear on an award show?
Performers are free to attend film festivals or other events. You must be careful, however, not to promote struck work or struck companies at such events. For example, you should not promote a struck film at a film festival by serving on a Q&A panel about the work. You also should not participate in red carpets or step-and-repeats that are sponsored by struck companies and feature their logos and other promotional signs or banners.
Sponsors for events such as these can usually be found at the events’ website. We encourage you or your representatives to work directly with the event organizers to ensure you are fully aware of any struck companies’ involvement in the event.
Can I promote work I did for struck companies at film festivals?
You cannot promote struck work or struck companies on social media.
Can I promote my work on social media? What about struck work that I’m not in?
Yes! Promote yourself as an artist, a fashion icon, a union activist, a commercial actor, and a proud SAG-AFTRA member. You can also promote brands using our groundbreaking Influencer Agreement or start a podcast.
Can I promote myself?
Submissions for award show categories, by themselves, are not considered promotional under the strike order. This means you can submit yourself for such awards and/or consent to studios or producers submitting your performances for such awards. You may not, however, participate in For Your Consideration events or any other promotional activities that discuss, tag, reference, or feature struck content. You may publicize the award show and the fact that you have been nominated, or submitted for nomination, for an award, so long as you do not tag, reference, discuss, or feature the struck content as part of the publication. As a reminder, projects covered by a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement are not struck content.
How should we handle award show submissions based on performances in struck content?
You may participate in the selection of clips and images used in connection with your submission for nomination only. You may not grant the studio any additional permission to use clips and/or images outside of the submission (such as at FYC events) beyond that which they may already have for struck content. As a reminder, projects covered by a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement are not struck content.
Can I participate in selection of the clip(s) and/or images used in connection with my submission?
Productions covered by our Interim Agreement are not struck! These are the films made by producers who were happy to accept all of our last demands rejected by the AMPTP. Our strike rules therefore do not apply to these productions. You can promote Interim Agreement projects, submit and accept awards for these projects, and attend FYC and any other promotional events related to these projects.
How should we handle award shows for productions covered by a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement?