SAG-AFTRA’s Duncan Crabtree-Ireland Thinks Warner Bros. Should Delay ‘Blue Beetle’

“I recognize how unfortunate it is that the studio has decided to go forward with releasing ‘Blue Beetle’ now,” Crabtree-Ireland said.

Blue Beetle Duncan Crabtree Ireland
Blue Beetle

There is a growing concern that “Blue Beetle,” the first superhero movie centered around a Latino character, could see its box office suffer due to the fact that the cast of the film, made up mostly of up-and-comers, cannot promote due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

However, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator has explained why the film is ineligible for a promotional waiver, telling The Wrap, “We can’t make exceptions to the strike, even if they are well intentioned, because we have to keep the pressure on the company.”

“We have a national Latino actors committee as part of SAG-AFTRA, and we’ve been at the forefront of fighting for increased inclusion and diversity in the film industry in the television industry since the 1970s,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “And we pioneered the American Scene Language and we have proposals in this negotiation that are designed to enhance diversity in the industry and also provide better protections for performers of color.”

Crabtree-Ireland was at Culver City Studios on Friday on the picket lines along with the WGA and PGA.  As TheWrap previously reported on Thursday, Latinos make up 2.3% of the leads in theatrically released movies in 2022, according to UCLA’s 2023 Hollywood Diversity Report, and 6.1% of the leads in streaming movies.

Crabtree-Ireland feels the studio should have delayed the release of the movie.

“What I will say is our interim agreements are providing the opportunity for independent features, which often have more exposure for performers of color, including Latinos than studio features,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “I totally recognize how unfortunate it is that the studio has decided to go forward with releasing ‘Blue Beetle’ now, instead of delaying it like they’ve delayed so many other projects so that they can have a proper promotional period. But we’re in a strike for our lives, we have to hold the studio’s accountable.”

However, Warner Brothers Discovery have not “delayed so many other projects.” The company’s dated releases are unchanged and no films have been delayed.

Crabtree-Ireland understands “Blue Beetle” will significantly increase the stats of Latinos in the SAG.

“I call on the studio to decide to delay the release of that project until a time when the actors who deserve to be out there and absolutely deserve to be promoted, can actually participate in that promotion, like they’ve done with so many other projects,” he said.

“Blue Beetle” will be released in theaters on Aug. 18.