In a letter to SAG members Tuesday, the guild's national executive director says that he hopes a strike will not happen — but if it does happen, he insists that it won't "shut down" the industry.
Doug Allen's missive comes amidst increasing pressure to forego the actors' strike authorization, Variety reports. Just last week, he postponed a vote on the strike until at least mid-January, while a rift within the membership has been growing for weeks.
"If the SAG National Board is authorized to call a strike, we all hope a strike will not be necessary," Allen wrote. "But, if the National Board decides to call one, it will not 'shut down' the industry. Why not? Because the national board's decision would have no effect on work done under the Guild's other contracts."
Producers fired back almost immediately. "Today's SAG statement suggesting that a SAG strike would not have a devastating impact on our industry, in the midst of the greatest economic turmoil since the Great Depression, simply defies reality," the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) said.
In recent weeks, prominent actors, including George Clooney and Tom Hanks, have spoken out against a strike vote, asserting that a decision to strike would, in fact, be more than just a bargaining tool.
Does Allen have a point? Or should SAG members steer clear of the vote?