It’s payback time for picket-crossers.
Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild have vowed to pursue disciplinary action against union members who performed struck work during the 25-week stoppage, Daily Variety reported today.
SAG member Steve Barr expressed a popular sentiment among strike captains when he told Variety, “We will make sure that the people who think they got away with crossing a picket line during a strike are held accountable for their actions.”
This announcement comes after the tentative agreement reached Monday between advertisers and the committees for SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. The boards of directors for both unions are expected to approve the contract in a plenary session this weekend, ending the strike that began in May. The boards will also determine how vehemently to pursue punishment of the “scabs.”
“Members who broke rank will go before a trial board and may face a combination of fines, volunteer work and suspension of membership rights,” SAG spokesman Greg Krizman told Hollywood.com. “Expulsion is a possibility, but that’s at the extreme end of the scale.”
Variety reported that union activists have logged the names of more than 500 strike-breaking actors. Of those, probably best known is model/actress and “Bedazzled” beauty Elizabeth Hurley, who appeared in a non-union Estée Lauder perfume ad. Hurley has since apologized and donated $25,000 to the SAG Strike Relief Fund.
“There were the Tiger Woods incidents and some other athletes, but to our knowledge, Elizabeth Hurley is the only high-profile performing member who has done struck work,” Krizman said. “But she’s a member like anyone else, and she’ll go before a trial review board.”
For non-union actors who crossed lines, the punishment might be more career crushing. A SAG committee has recommended that they be permanently denied union membership. That issue is also likely to be discussed at the SAG meeting this weekend.