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SAG-AFTRA Protests Academy ‘Intimidation’ of Talent to Not Present at Other Awards Shows

It refers to the Academy's tactics as "graceless," "utterly outrageous," and "unacceptable."

A Screen Actors Guild statue appears alongside a screen on stage at the nominations announcement for the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Pacific Design Center, in West Hollywood, Calif. The show will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles25th Annual SAG Awards - Nominations, Los Angeles, USA - 12 Dec 2018

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA has accused the Academy of exerting “extraordinary and unwarranted pressure” on actors to prevent them from appearing at other award ceremonies, notably the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The group says it has received “multiple reports” of this behavior, which it condemns as “graceless,” “utterly outrageous,” and “unacceptable.” Read the full statement:

“SAG-AFTRA has fielded numerous requests to respond to assertions that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exerts extraordinary and unwarranted pressure on talent to hold them from appearing at other award presentations.

“We have received multiple reports of these activities and have experienced firsthand the Academy’s graceless pressure tactics and attempts to control the awards show talent pipeline. Awards season is a very special time when actors and actresses are being appropriately celebrated and recognized for the outstanding quality of their work. We would expect the Academy to honor these goals.

“This self-serving intimidation of SAG-AFTRA members is meant to limit their opportunities to be seen and honor the work of their fellow artists throughout the season. Actors should be free to accept any offer to participate in industry celebrations.

“The apparent attempt by the Academy to keep our members from presenting on their own awards show is utterly outrageous and unacceptable. The SAG Awards supports their union’s operations and important charitable assistance programs that provide valuable support to performers.

“We call on the Academy to cease this inappropriate action.”

The Screen Actors Guild Awards take place on January 27, while the Oscars — which, following the departure of would-be host Kevin Hart, will be without an emcee for the first time since 1989 — are on February 24.

IndieWire has reached out to the Academy for comment.

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