SAG bans 187 strikebreakers

Members not identified

SAG has announced it has disciplined 187 non-union thesps for crossing picket lines during the 2000 strike but has refrained from identifying them publicly.

The guild’s membership application review committees issued 133 membership bans ranging from six months to 4½ years, along with 54 bans for the maximum five years. The panels also granted 94 of the applicants SAG membership after review of the accusations.

The largest number of cases were heard by the Hollywood Member Application Review Committee (MARC), which had originally intended to identify strikebreakers and announced a five-year ban on membership for an actress who had tried to join the guild despite shooting more than 20 non-union spots during the strike. That panel later softened the policy out of concern that the tactic would be perceived as vindictive.

SAG’s national board first instituted a policy to bar strikebreakers from joining, then lessened that to a maximum five-year exclusion.

“The guild is firm in its resolve to hold responsible those performers who unjustly took advantage of the work stoppage and thereby prolonged the 2000 commercial strike,” SAG national spokesperson Ilyanne Kichaven said. “These applicants jeopardized many careers and dismissed the sacrifices made by SAG members. SAG’s intention is to provide membership only to those performers who stood in solidarity with the guild.”

The committee recently disciplined Ben Curtis, best known as a Dell Computer pitchman, for booking non-union spots two years ago (Daily Variety, July 15) for the PC maker, but SAG has refused to comment on the case.

SAG disclosed after the strike that it had fined Elizabeth Hurley and Tiger Woods $100,000 each for performing in non-union spots and ID’d seven other members last year who had been expelled for strikebreaking.

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