The Screen Actors Guild is preparing to go on strike after its current contract with Hollywood studios expires at the end of this month. Expect their coworkers to suffer the most.


Already reeling from the effects of a prolonged writers strike this past winter, the U.S. film and TV industry is facing a possibly worse disaster as the Screen Actors Guild prepares to go on strike after the current contract between actors and studios expires on June 30.

Production has already slowed to a near-standstill as the date approaches. Studios are rushing to finish principal photography on nearly all films by June 30, and new projects are on hold awaiting action on a new contract with the performers’ union.

Some in the industry think the failure to reach an agreement will be more damaging than the writers’ strike was, especially for the actors’s and actresses’ fellow workers, Reuters reports:

Anxiety can be felt throughout the post-production community, still hurting from the disruptions of the three-month writers’ strike that ended in mid-February.

"We believe this will be worse than the WGA strike," said Stephen Buchsbaum, CEO of the Post Group. "During the WGA strike, we were doing projects that didn’t involve the WGA — some independent films, game shows and reality shows. Those all have SAG hosts, and unless there is a side deal struck, we believe this impact will be catastrophic.

"The post industry still has not recovered from the writers’ strike," he continued. "The industry has not come back, partly because TV season as we know it is still in limbo."

Unease also is growing in the visual effects community.

"I’m hearing about and seeing people being laid off or told, ‘Hurry up and wait,"’ Visual Effects Society executive director Eric Roth said. "It seems like there is already a strike."

This situation is further aggravated by the lurching global economy, weak dollar and increasing amount of visual effects work heading to less expensive destinations.

"It’s a recipe for the perfect storm at the worst possible time," Roth said.

As with the writers strike, once again some of Hollywood’s most powerful and prosperous players are pressing for a bigger share of the pie, and their coworkers will have to suffer while the process plays out.