UPDATE: Here is the definitive answer to whether there is now a de facto strike or a de facto lockout in Hollywood. I’ve repeatedly opined it’s nonsensical to think there’s been a de facto strike when it’s the Hollywood CEOs who control the movie production spigot and who’ve made the decision not to let films go forward even though SAG has said publicly it has no plans to even ask its membership for a strike authorization vote (step one before a strike is even contemplated). And let me also make it clear here and now that the moguls have told me the production stoppage has nothing to do with completion bonds and insurance. As one mogul clarified in response to my question about this: ”Most studio movies are not bonded — those are indie films. And no insurance, unless separately bought for huge money, insures against strikes.” Another mogul emailed me when I asked if completion bonds/insurance were the studios’ reasons for the stoppage, “…That has not been the focus of our internal discussions.” So what has been? ”Firstly, our productions are coming to an end, as planned. Secondly, it’s only prudent to know there is an agreement before committing millions of dollars of production which you may not be able to get back.” Meanwhile, SAG has signed more than 500 guaranteed completion contracts with independent producers of films, the top of which boast budgets between $14 million and $40 million dollars and represent in total hundreds of millions of dollars. But pro-AMPTP factions are out and about in Hollywood claiming that SAG has shut down the town. B.S.
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