LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pair of spinoffs of “The Walking Dead” and the next season of “Interview With the Vampire” can resume production despite the ongoing Hollywood strikes after reaching an agreement with the actors’ union.
The three AMC series are the highest-profile television productions yet to get what’s known as an interim agreement from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
The approval was granted Wednesday because the cable channel AMC and production company Stalwart Films are not part of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — the coalition of studios the actors are striking against — though they are what’s known as “authorized companies” that abide by the contracts reached by the AMPTP.
“The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” and “Interview With the Vampire” will now resume shooting their second seasons. And the deal will allow actors to do post-production work on the first season of “The Walking Dead: Those Who Live.”
No new writing will be allowed on the series because the Writers Guild of America, in perhaps the most significant divergence in strategy with the actors union, has opted not to grant any such agreements.
SAG-AFTRA’s tactic of granting interim agreements — which have been given to hundreds of films and shows produced outside the major studios so long as they grant actors the terms the union asked for in their last offer before the strike began July 12 — has drawn objections from many union members who feel they’re undermining their objectives.
Union leaders, while conceding that they did an insufficient job of explaining the strategy at first, have consistently defended it and touted its effectiveness in recent weeks. They say the productions show that their demands are not unreasonable, and they allow others in Hollywood to work.
“I think that there’s a greater understanding of the interim agreements, and a realization that actually helping journeyman performers and crew have opportunities for work is going to maintain our resolve” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher told The Associated Press last week. “We don’t want to get caught in a place where we feel like we have to compromise our principles because people are desperate to get back to work.”