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IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb Statement in Support of SAG-AFTRA, Writers Guild

Tim Tyler

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“In the face of an industry-wide crisis, I want to unequivocally voice the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ stalwart support for striking entertainment workers in SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guilds. The Actors and Writers’ cause is reasonable and just, and is part of the same struggles of every worker whose labor powers America’s film and television industry.


The heartbeat of entertainment is the creativity and dedication of working people using their talents and skills to bring cherished stories to life. It is this very heartbeat the studios threaten to silence with reckless disregard for fairness and human artistry. The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated. Our industry is at a crossroads, and the actions taken now will affect the future of labor relations in Hollywood and beyond. The world and history are watching as entertainment workers once again take on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an ensemble of media mega-corporations collectively worth trillions of dollars, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, Netflix, Universal, Warner Brothers, and others.

I am disturbed by the studios’ weak attempts to divide and conquer union members across our industry in recent days. The economic fallout for below-the-line crewmembers is real, but IATSE members know the studios were responsible for shutting down film and television production months before their negotiations with the writers and actors even started.

Make no mistake — if the studios truly cared about the economic fallout of their preemptive work slowdown against below-the-line crewmembers, they could continue to pay crewmembers and fully fund their healthcare at any moment, as they did in 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, grassroots groups of writers, actors, and directors like The Union Solidarity Coalition are stepping up to fund mutual aid that directly benefits our members, and I recognize them for organizing this much-needed support.

It’s plain as day who our allies are. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild kin. Their fight today foreshadows our fight tomorrow, and we must stand united until the studios acknowledge our collective worth, and the workers prevail.”

In Solidarity,
Matthew D. Loeb International President, IATSE

# # #

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 168,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

For more information please contact:
General: comms@iatse.net
Press: press@iatse.net

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I can fully understand the workers‘ point of view - it’s not fair that everyone else is making lots of money with their work with them only getting some peanuts. 

But what will be impact of this strike?

Will Kodak have to file insolvency again (as their major customer is Hollywood)?

Will the Studio Babelsberg be converted into flats and hotels? (Despite being located in Germany, they used to make most of their money with Hollywood productions.)

Will the cinemas survive the gap created by the strike? (Amazon Germany filled the „Covid-19 gap“ with Non-US-Productions (from China, Russia, South Korea, …). But what source can be used by the cinemas to attract paying customers?)

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In plain times one is best heard with plain speech. Americans inside and related to the film industry continue to suffer. A great many of these Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and may not even have health insurance. It is irresponsible for anyone on this site to criticize any Hollywood product at this time—especially a large-scale production such as Oppenheimer. Let’s say there’s a one-in-a-billion chance that a higher-than-expected box-office quarter might soften the powers at the deal table. Yes, an extraordinary dream, but the New England Patriots lost to the Miami Miracle in 2018, a football play the success of which seemed to defy the odds of the universe. If there is a snowball’s chance in hell in this sinking-Titanic world, take it. So—no negativity.


If history is an indication, then, alas, the current Situation in Hollywood cannot end well; so the faster it ends the better. This new generation of Hollywood artists is coming to realize a terrible lesson that will affect them for the rest of their lives. A site such as cinematography.com, by the very nature of its own description, has, one can argue, a moral responsibility to stand by all the craftspeople and other workers suffering a dire economic fate at this time—To stand by them consistently day by day. Preferable would be a full-court press.


Best wishes.

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