SAG-AFTRA’s COVID-19 Efforts and the significant economic impact on the entertainment industry


SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris has issued a video statement regarding the union’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) efforts. To view, please click here. The union also continues to update its members on the latest news and resources regarding the pandemic at

Gabrielle Carteris

Last week, Rep. Adam Schiff of California’s 28th Congressional District joined Carteris and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White for an episode of the SAG-AFTRA podcast to discuss the unique needs faced by entertainment industry workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schiff, Carteris and White also discuss trusted sources of information pertaining to COVID-19 and how unions and their members can continue to educate elected officials about the various needs faced by the entertainment industry so that proper emergency relief legislation can be drafted. The union is asking members to email their senators and urge them to act now. To listen to the special COVID-19 episode with Rep. Schiff or other episodes.

The impact of Covid-19 on the entertainment industry and what artists can expect in this constantly evolving situation are also covered in our latest Spanish-language podcast. That episode can be found on all podcast platforms under the name SAG-AFTRA en Español.

President Gabrielle Carteris Discusses SAG-AFTRA ’s COVID-19 Efforts and the significant economic impact on the entertainment industry

“Hi. You know we are living in challenging and uncertain times, actually unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. And as the world is dealing with this unbelievable outbreak, I want you to know that we, SAG-AFTRA, are responding and taking action in real time. And I mean that’s morning ’til night and through the wee hours of the day. It’s true our industry and our lives are going to change. They’re going to change in a lot of ways. But make no mistake, we are in this together.

And during this time of significant economic impact, we need and must do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help those in greatest need. So I want you to know that we’ve taken aggressive steps and we’re going to continue to do so to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 by canceling in-person gatherings, moving our operations to a remote work protocol. This way we’re ensuring operations are in place and that we continue to serve our members while keeping them and our staff safe.

I recognize that one of the most challenging concerns facing our members during this national emergency is the loss of work. I mean, that causes untold economic pain and hardship. So I want you to know that we have been in direct conversations with other unions, studios, employers, and legislative leaders at the state and federal level to make sure entertainment workers are included in the stimulus package for income replacement programs, programs like expanded unemployment insurance, family relief, a universal basic income during this crisis. And there’s so much more that you can find on the resources page, which we are constantly updating in this evolving situation. You just need to go to Please, I want you to check it out, take action, make sure that our collective voices are heard.

And also at times like these, there are those, I hate to say it, and it’s true, who may try to take advantage of the most vulnerable. That is unacceptable. If you can offer financial support to fellow members in need, please make sure you are donating only to legitimate organizations. Please reach out to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund’s COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund. You can do that at And if you need help, ask. If you can help, please give. Together we can do anything, and we will. Thank you. Be safe”.

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

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