International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) President Matthew D. Loeb has released a statement supporting the decision by SAG-AFTRA to join the Writers Guilds on the picket line, the first time this has happened in forty years.
Loeb’s statement can be read below:
“In the face of an industry-wide crisis, I want to unequivocally voice the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ stalwart support for striking entertainment workers in SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guilds. The Actors and Writers’ cause is reasonable and just, and is part of the same struggles of every worker whose labor powers America’s film and television industry.
The heartbeat of entertainment is the creativity and dedication of working people using their talents and skills to bring cherished stories to life. It is this very heartbeat the studios threaten to silence with reckless disregard for fairness and human artistry. The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated.
Our industry is at a crossroads, and the actions taken now will affect the future of labor relations in Hollywood and beyond. The world and history are watching as entertainment workers once again take on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an ensemble of media mega-corporations collectively worth trillions of dollars, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, Netflix, Universal, Warner Brothers, and others.
I am disturbed by the studios’ weak attempts to divide and conquer union members across our industry in recent days. The economic fallout for below-the-line crew members is real, but IATSE members know the studios were responsible for shutting down film and television production months before their negotiations with the writers and actors even started.
Make no mistake — if the studios truly cared about the economic fallout of their pre-emptive work slowdown against below-the-line crewmembers, they could continue to pay crewmembers and fully fund their healthcare at any moment, as they did in 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, grassroots groups of writers, actors, and directors like The Union Solidarity Coalition are stepping up to fund mutual aid that directly benefits our members, and I recognize them for organizing this much-needed support.
It’s plain as day who our allies are. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild kin. Their fight today foreshadows our fight tomorrow, and we must stand united until the studios acknowledge our collective worth, and the workers prevail.
Matthew D. Loeb International President, IATSE”