'The Chosen' Granted Waiver to Continue Shooting Despite Actors Strike
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The director and creator of The Chosen has announced the series will continue filming episodes of Season 4 after being granted a waiver to continue production despite the ongoing Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (SAG-AFTRA) strike.
Dallas Jenkins announced Thursday that due to the Screen Actor's Guild strike, they were required to stop production.
"Unfortunately, despite the requested work we did on our end, an exemption for us will not be granted in time to avoid a shutdown," he stated. "We will do a little filming tomorrow of everything that doesn't require our cast, and then we'll wait and hope that either the strike ends (unlikely soon), or that we're granted an exemption and can resume filming."
Dallas continued, "Yes, it's upsetting and will cost time and money…but we bring our five loaves and two fish. God handles the rest."
The strike began May when 11,000 workers with the Writers Guild of America walked off sets over studios using new streaming business models to pay them less for more work, slash residual payments, and cut back on employee protections, The Washington Post reports.
Nearly 160,000 SAG-AFTRA union members joined the walkout on Friday wanting added protections for their likeness with the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI).
Almost every performer and writer is on strike, meaning Hollywood is essentially shut down.
This means there will be no new movies, no TV shows, and no commercials being produced.
Amber Shana Williams who plays Tamar on "The Chosen" explained, "Remember the unions are the reason we have healthcare benefits, a 5-day work week, and 8hr shifts. So as much as an inconvenience as this seems to be, the fight is for the average actor...When you think of SAG-AFTRA don't just think of the big-name A-list actors."
So far, unions and studio leaders have failed to come to a compromise. Many are predicting that the end of the strike is nowhere in sight.
"The Chosen", the hit series about the life of Jesus, wrapped up shooting most of the show in Midlothian, Texas but had more to shoot in Goshen, Utah when actors joined the strike.
Jenkins requested a waiver to continue production before actors went on strike Friday. He initially was not granted a waiver.
He took to Instagram to plead his case.
"We've submitted all the requested paperwork immediately. We fit all qualifications for an exemption. You have our application for it," Jenkins wrote.
"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. 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."
The production company was given the green light Sunday.
Update: Great news! We just received word from SAG that we have been approved for a waiver. We’ll continue shooting on Monday.— The Chosen (@thechosentv) July 16, 2023
As CBN News has reported, The Chosen has been streamed more than 500 million times and has now been seen by more than 108 million people since Season 1 premiered.
The series is available to watch for free on The Chosen App or the Angel Studios App. It's also available on other popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
In addition, the first three seasons of The Chosen began airing on broadcast television for the first time Sunday, July 16 on the CW Network. It will continue through Christmas Eve.
It's unknown how the strike will impact the release date of the show's fourth season.
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