×

Oz producers hit out at striking actors

SPAA claims Equity dragged its feet in talks

The Screen Producers’ Assn. of Australia has hit back at Actors’ Equity, whose members went on strike Thursday after the two orgs failed to reach a new employment agreement governing work on commercials made to screen outside the country.

The spat began after SPAA nixed the existing agreement in June, effective Aug. 7.

Equity claimed the decision was sudden, but SPAA said it arose after two years of failed arbitration.

The producers’ org also said foreign commercials producers are opting to shoot in nearby New Zealand because employment agreements there are comparatively uncomplicated, meaning Aussies are missing out on the work.

“The international market finds our agreement confusing and inflexible in a variety of ways, including formulaic terms for buyouts and numbers of edits of a commercial,” SPAA topper Geoff Brown said.

“This makes it much more difficult to employ actors in Australia than our competitor countries such as New Zealand, South Africa or Canada. Our producers will still be offering very good fees to actors and SPAA will be providing producers with a guide to underlying conditions,” he said.

Equity rep Simon Burke said, “Actors do not want to be on strike, but SPAA’s refusal to negotiate a fair agreement has left us with no choice.”

Television commercials produced by companies outside of the Australian networks are worth about A$200 million ($164 million) a year and comprise 10% of the annual production industry.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'Spoonbenders' Adaptation Set at Showtime With

    'Spoonbenders' Adaptation From Stephen Falk Lands at Showtime With Production Commitment

    Berlanti Productions has set up the one-hour drama “Spoonbenders” at Showtime with a pilot production commitment, Variety has learned. The project is based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Daryl Gregory. It is about The Amazing Telemachus Family, a traveling family magic act that happened to be made up of people with actual magic [...]

  • Tony Hall, Director General of the

    BBC Could Move More Operations Outside London, Its Boss Suggests

    Amid longstanding complaints from many viewers that the BBC is too London-centric, the boss of the world’s most famous pubcaster hinted Thursday that it could move more of its operations and programming outside the British capital. Tony Hall, the BBC’s director general, said the organization had already made “enormous strides” in geographical diversity. “A decade [...]

  • Brad Simpson Nina Jacobson

    Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson Renew FX Overall Deal

    Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are keeping their Color Force production banner at FX Productions, with the producers signing a new four-year overall deal with the company. “Our creative collaboration with Nina and Brad has been rewarding, not just in the rich and growing catalogue of event and signature series they’ve helped produce for FX, [...]

  • NBCUNIVERSAL LOGOS -- Pictured: "E!" Logo

    NBCUniversal Cable Hit With Significant Layoffs Amid Restructuring

    Amid a restructuring, another round of layoffs are set to impact NBCUniversal’s E!, Bravo, Oxygen, USA and Syfy networks Thursday, a source familiar with the situation tells Variety, not long after the E! network laid off around 20-25 staff in August. This round of layoffs is likely to impact fewer than 45 employees, more than [...]

  • Peaky Blinders Season 5

    Time-Jumping Season 5 of 'Peaky Blinders' Aims for a More Cinematic Look

    Cinematographer Si Bell was thrilled to learn he and director Anthony Byrne had been tapped to shoot the fifth season of BBC’s “Peaky Blinders,” but surprised to find out how free a hand executive producers Caryn Mandabach and Jamie Glazebrook were giving them to determine the scheme of their six-episode run. “I expected to meet the [...]

  • Daniel Levy Schitts Creek

    'Schitt's Creek' Co-Creator Dan Levy Signs ABC Studios Overall Deal

    “Schitt’s Creek” breakout Dan Levy has signed a multi-year overall deal at ABC Studios. Under the deal, Levy will develop and produce scripted projects for the studio. “Dan Levy has proven himself as one of the most creative people in the TV business,” said Jonnie Davis, president of ABC Studios. “His writing, acting and producing [...]

  • Barry Bill Hader

    Emmys 2019: Clear Favorites and Top Challengers for This Year's Winners (Column)

    If this felt like the longest, most expensive Emmy campaign in history, you might be right. For one thing, the 2019 Primetime Emmys will be held Sept. 22, which is the latest the ceremony has taken place since 2013. That also happened to be the last year of TV’s quaint, pre-streaming era, before outlets like [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content