SAG-AFTRA Chief Duncan Crabtree-Ireland Overseas, Will Be Back For Monday’s AMPTP Talks

Everybody who needs to be in the room when SAG-AFTRA and the studios sit down for talks next week will be.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the actors union’s national executive director and chief negotiator, will be returning from Turkey this weekend in time for Monday’s resumption of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which will be held at the guild’s offices in Los Angeles.

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The two sides hadn’t met since the actors union went on strike on July 14.

Crabtree-Ireland has been in Istanbul attending the annual Executive Committee meeting of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), a global federation that represents some 90 organizations and hundreds of thousands of performers in more than 60 countries.

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At the meeting, FIA is expected to declare its support of SAG-AFTRA’s strike, and its affiliated unions are expected to express their refusal to allow AMPTP productions to flee to their jurisdictions to avoid the guild’s strike sanctions.

And even though he’s been out of the country this week, Crabtree-Ireland has remained deeply involved in preparations for the guild’s upcoming contract talks — just as SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, who chairs the guild’s negotiating committee, had been, either in person or via videoconference, near the end of bargaining in July.

She had left the country to attend a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Italy, where she was a brand ambassador. She returned in time for the last two days of negotiations before the strike, and to deliver a fiery strike speech.

RELATED: Fran Drescher: The Complete SAG-AFTRA Strike Speech Video

While out of the country, Crabtree-Ireland has also been deeply involved in the guild’s negotiations for a new video game contract, which resumed on Tuesday after the guild’s members voted overwhelmingly to approve a strike authorization if those talks fail to produce an acceptable deal. Ray Rodriguez, the guild’s chief contracts officer, is the chief negotiator in those talks. The guild’s previous strike against the gaming companies lasted 183 days in 2016-17. 

Founded in 1952, FIA, whose president is Gabrielle Carteris, the guild’s immediate past president, says on its website that its “main purpose is to voice the professional interests of actors in film, television, radio, digital media, theatre and live performance, broadcast professionals, dancers, singers, variety and circus artists and others.”

Dominic Patten contributed to this report.

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