HOLLYWOOD — Striking union actors have disciplined half a dozen members for breaking ranks by performing in non-union commercials, handing out punishments including fines, suspension and several weeks of service work.
Monday’s announcement, which did not identify the members, represented the first strikebreakers found guilty by union trial boards since the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists announced the fast-track procedure in July.
Three of those found guilty were SAG members while three belonged to AFTRA. Each can appeal the trial board ruling.
Punishment of strikebreakers is a hot-button issue for many union members, who earned an average of $2 million a day from commercial work prior to the start of the strike on May 1. SAG’s strike headquarters in Los Angeles features a “Wall of Shame” of strikebreaker photos and SAG’s strike committee has recommended that any member performing struck work be permanently banned from the union.
Activists have been calling for the union to expel golfer Tiger Woods over his shoot in July of a non-union Buick ad. Woods had been scheduled to face a trial board last month but it has been postponed.
SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said both unions are continuing to conduct trial boards as quickly as possible.
“Considering that we’re now in the fifth month on strike against the ad industry, the number of members coming before the SAG and AFTRA trial and review boards is extremely small,” he added. “We have 99.99% member support for the strike but those who do cross the line will be found out and will be held accountable for their actions.”