SAG-AFTRA Supports Members Appearing on ‘SNL’ During Strike

“They are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules, and we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations,” the guild says

Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update, Season 48
Colin Jost and Michael Che during the Weekend Update of "Saturday Night Live" on October 15 (Will Heath/NBC)

SAG-AFTRA has sent out a message of support to its members appearing on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” as the late-night sketch shows returns to air following its hiatus during the WGA strike.

“SAG-AFTRA members appearing on Saturday Night Live either as hosts, guests, or cast members are working under the Network Code agreement, which is not a contract we are striking,” the guild wrote in a message to its members on Wednesday. “They are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules, and we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations.

The actors’ guild clarified that “SNL” is a “SAG-AFTRA non-dramatic production” which operates under a separate agreement “that is not subject to the union’s strike order.”

The union also elaborated that regular “SNL” cast members had “contractual obligations” prior to the strike, with many under “option agreements that require them to return to the show if the producers exercise their option, which the producers have done.”

“Our members are also subject to a ‘No Strike Clause’ in the Network Code Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the statement continued. “This means our performers agree not to strike during the term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and to show up to work during this term (the Network Code runs through June 30, 2024). By not showing up to work, our performers can be held in breach of contract and the Union is prohibited from advising them not to work.”

The statement of support comes as NBC announced the “SNL” staple will return for its 49th season on Oct. 14. The first telecast back will feature Pete Davidson, who was originally slated to host last season, with Ice Spice performing as the variety show’s musical guest. The next week, on Saturday, Oct. 21, Bad Bunny will serve as both the show’s host and musical guest.

During the SAG-AFTRA strike, which officially kicked off in mid-July, members have been permitted to appear on daytime talk shows and late-night shows, which largely returned this week, with the understanding they are not to discuss past, present or future projects originating from struck studios.

For all of TheWrap’s strike coverage, click here.


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