Georgia actors and extras stand with counterparts for strike

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There’s a fight over the future of the film industry that extends from Hollywood to Atlanta. Members of the Screen Actors Guild are not going to be working until after the strike is over. While they love their careers, they say making a stand right now is important. They’re looking for part-time jobs to pay the bills until the strike is over.

Jennifer McCormack is a stand-in, stunt actor, and 7-year member of SAG.

“You see a lot of fear and wondering if this going to work out. I’m going to have to go out and get a side job right now until everything starts to come back,” said McCormack.

SAG-AFTRA is looking for a new contract with studios. They’re asking for residual payments, wage increases, and protections against AI after the industry shifted to digital streaming.

Drew Waters and Erin Bathae own Greenlight Acting Studios and are members of SAG. After listening to star and union leader Fran Drescher’s speech, they say by standing up for the industry, she gives them hope.

“We are still starving actors. We need to keep up with the times, if not we’re going to be starving,” said Waters.

They feel actors will learn to pivot, maybe do voiceover work to sustain them until the strike ultimately ends.

“For actors to say now we will actively choose to not be in our favorite place, doing our favorite thing to do because all of that hard work to get there is the reward, but when the reward is insulting, it needs to be addressed,” said Bathae.

Dozens of movies were in the process of shooting in Georgia before the strike was announced, but now much of our $4 billion film industry in Georgia is shut down. The only shows shooting here now are reality TV shows, which are not unionized.

Abby Kousouris

Abby Kousouris

Abby Kousouris joined the Atlanta News First team as a statewide reporter in October of 2022.