Tiger Woods, hit with a $100,000 fine and the scorn of union actors, has formally apologized to the Screen Actors Guild for defying SAG by shooting a non-union spot last July.
“The decision to shoot a commercial during the SAG strike was a difficult one,” Woods said in a statement issued Thursday. “I was facing the impossible task of trying to live up to my obligations to my sponsors while at the same time honoring my commitment to other SAG members. Now, more than ever, I understand how serious SAG’s situation was and I apologize for any pain I may have caused.
“I value my Screen Actors Guild membership and I hope this result will further strengthen the value of my membership.”
Woods had refused to shoot a non-union Nike ad on the second day of the strike, a gesture representing an early victory for SAG in its public-relations war with the ad industry. SAG members were furious with what they saw as a betrayal by Woods over an Olympic-themed Buick ad that he shot in Toronto and his subsequent explanation that he needed to honor the sponsorship commitment.
Activists subsequently picketed Woods at several golf tournaments and staged dozens of demonstrations against Buick parent General Motors, claiming to have slowed production at GM factories in several states.
The apology is an indication that Woods has dropped his right to appeal the ruling of the SAG trial board, which issued the fine last month (Daily Variety, Nov. 10). The panel suspended half of Woods’ fine for a five-year probationary period and the funds will not have to be paid unless Woods performs struck work again.
SAG has staged three other trial boards and has issued a lifetime ban on non-union actors who performed struck work. A SAG committee recently targeted 24 strikebreaking members for possible expulsion.
“SAG will continue to investigate incidents of struck commercial work for as long as it takes to hold accountable whose who crossed our picket lines,” SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said.