‘The Chosen’ gets waiver to continue filming during SAG-AFTRA strike
The series is the first known production to resume filming since the actors’ strike began.
Faith-based series The Chosen is back in production in Utah merely days after SAG-AFTRA began its strike.
It’s no miracle, however — SAG-AFTRA granted the series an exemption from the strike because it’s an independently funded production with few ties to the the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the representative body of the studios that SAG-AFTRA is striking against.
After previously alerting fans that the strike would impact production, the series’ official Twitter account announced on Sunday that The Chosen‘s fourth season would resume production the following day.
The Chosen is the first known production to resume filming after being interrupted by the strike, per Deadline. The series, which follows the life of Jesus of Nazareth, is entirely crowd-funded, according to its Twitter.
The Chosen serves as an important case study as the strike continues, exemplifying how films and television series can continue production without ties to the studio system. Because the series is independently funded, its production was exempted from the strike, so even SAG-AFTRA cast members like star Jonathan Roumie are permitted to continue working during the strike.
Before the series resumed production, creator Dallas Jenkins took to Instagram to implore SAG-AFTRA to approve the request for exemption.
“We’ve submitted all the requested paperwork immediately,” he wrote on Friday. “We fit all qualifications for an exemption. You have our application for it. Every day that goes by without your response costs us hundreds of thousands of dollars while your actors are stuck in Utah.”
“We’re the good guys; we’ve treated your actors well,” he continued. “Please take the few minutes to approve our application so your actors can get back to work getting paid for the last two weeks of a season they want to finish.”
As the strike continues, SAG-AFTRA is expected to grant more exemptions to “independently produced content,” as outlined on the guild’s website.
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