UPDATED with no deal: Unable to reach an agreement, SAG-AFTRA has ordered its members not to work on a commercial being shot in town this week for The Honest Company, actress Jessica Alba’s line of home products.
“Please be advised,” the union told its members 90 minutes after Deadline first inquired, “that The Honest Company is shooting non-union commercials in the Los Angeles area this week, produced by non-signatory ad agency Mother. The union reached out to The Honest Company and Mother to sign these spots to the SAG-AFTRA commercials contract so that performers being hired to represent families would be entitled to fair wages and working conditions. To date, neither The Honest Company nor Mother have agreed to sign the Commercials Contract.
“All SAG-AFTRA members are hereby instructed to withhold services for this production until further notice. Accepting employment or rendering services on any of these upcoming commercials may be considered a violation of Global Rule One. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.”
PREVIOUSLY, 3:05 PM: Jessica Alba’s consumer goods company, The Honest Company, reportedly has agreed to shoot its next TV commercial under a SAG-AFTRA contract, thanks to a nudge from Killian McHugh, the acting coach who’s been leading a grassroots effort to unionize non-union productions. There’s no indication, however, that Alba herself ever appeared in a non-union ad.
Alba launched the company in 2012, and SAG-AFTRA records show that several of its commercials were shot under the union’s contract in 2013 – presumably the ones in which she appeared. The company’s next ad, presumably one in which she would not appear, reportedly was planning to shoot non-union.
“OMG Y’all. We did it!!!” McHugh tweeted. “First a huge shout out to The Honest Company! After I made them aware of the situation, they contacted me immediately. More importantly, my contact there contacted SAG-AFTRA to correct the situation! They are now in negotiations to flip this ad to union! Now it is up to the union leaders to seal the deal.”
McHugh recently organized a rally outside the union’s headquarters where more than 70 commercial performers showed up “to ask the union what they’re doing about celebrity outreach,” he said.
“We want to know what SAG-AFTRA is doing about it,” he told Deadline at the August 13 rally. “I had a meeting with the president of SAG-AFTRA several months ago, and I’m not seeing any progress.”
“For five months, I’ve been told ‘This isn’t the way,’” he tweeted, saying he was told by the union: “We just can’t call celebrities; we need time, Killian. We need a plan. Be patient.” He went on to tweet that it took him only three phone calls and a tweet to get the Honest Company to agree to shoot its next commercial under a union contract. “We didn’t even have to do a full-on media blitz! As soon as they were informed/educated about the situation, they understood!!! This today proves it’s about educating the A-listers!!!”
Deadline reached out to reps for Alba and the union for comment but has yet to hear back.