UPDATE: Macbeth has gotten the greenlight from SAG-AFTRA to resume production. The union says it rescinded the Do Not Work order it issued today after the producers had “come forward with a safety plan that is in compliance.”
The guild has also taken Retaliators off its Do Not Work list. “Retaliators is presently not shooting so the Do Not Work is inactive,” a spokesperson said.
EARLIER: SAG-AFTRA has told its members that they can’t work on two more films because their producers have “failed to comply with SAG-AFTRA’s required COVID-19 safety standards and protocols for a safe set.” One of the films is Macbeth, an adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy by Toil and Trouble Productions LLC; the other is Retaliators, from a company called Retaliators LLC.
“As such,” the union said in identical “Do Not Work” notices, “SAG-AFTRA members are hereby instructed to withhold any acting services or performance of any covered work for this production until further notice from the union. Please note, accepting employment or rendering services on Macbeth may be considered a violation of Global Rule One. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.”
The union’s Global Rule One, which requires members to work only for signatory companies, states: “No member shall render any services or make an agreement to perform services for any employer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the union, which is in full force and effect, in any jurisdiction in which there is a SAG-AFTRA national collective bargaining agreement in place.”
The production companies could not be reached for comment.
These are the second and third films the union has put the kibosh on specifically because of COVID concerns. Last month, SAG-AFTRA pulled the plug on a movie called Courting Mom & Dad, starring Scott Baio and Kristy Swanson, saying that the producers “failed to comply with LA County Health Orders and SAG-AFTRA protocols in connection with COVID-19 as well as California regulations related to minor performers.”
That Do Not Work order has yet to be rescinded.
Earlier this month, the union issued a Do Not Work notice for producer Michael Bay’s Songbird, one of the first movies to shoot in Los Angeles during the pandemic. Officially, the guild said that it pulled the plug because the producers had failed to sign its contract, but a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson told Deadline, “The producers have not been transparent about their safety protocols, and that is something we obviously take very seriously.” The union rescinded the Do Not Work order the next day after the company signed the contract and clearing up any questions about its safety protocols.