Yesterday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) made history when they joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in a strike. It’s the first time that both unions have been on strike at the same time since 1960. And while this means that TV shows produced in Hollywood can’t continue working, there are some shows based outside of the United States (like House of the Dragon, Squid Games, Slow Horses, Industry, and Dune: The Sisterhood) that are covered by different labor unions and can continue production, according to ScreenRant.
House of the Dragon, Squid Games, Slow Horses, Industry, and Dune: The Sisterhood all continue filming because they are covered by different labor unions.
The Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, is an HBO show, which is an American network, so that would mean that this fantasy epic would have to stop production, right? When the WGA went on strike in May, all writing for the show had to cease. However, HBO announced that the majority of the writing for the second season was complete, which meant that the show could continue full throttle.
The show still isn’t being affected now that SAG-AFTRA is on strike because all actors are obligated to fulfill their contracts due to their association with Equity, SAG’s sister organization in the U.K., which is not currently on strike.
The South Korean series Squid Game is expected to be largely unaffected by the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. With no American actors or writers involved, filming for the second season is set to commence this summer as planned. However, the strikes may pose challenges during the translation and dubbing process for English-speaking audiences if the show chooses to use American actors like it did for the first season.
House of the Dragon still isn’t being affected by the strike because all actors are obligated to fulfill their contracts due to their association with Equity, SAG’s sister organization in the U.K.
Even though Slow Horses is set in the U.K., the actors involved in the show are not covered by Equity. Still, the show will likely remain unaffected by the strike because the third season had already concluded filming before WGA went on strike in May, and reportedly all scenes with SAG-AFTRA actors in the fourth season have also been shot.
Industry will also likely remain unaffected by the strike because the show, like House of Dragons, is also covered by Equity, not SAG-AFTRA. Industry premiered in 2020, and filming for the third season began in April 2023. It’s expected that production will continue smoothly.
Squid Game is expected to be largely unaffected by the SAG-AFTRA strike with no American actors or writers involved
Dune: The Sisterhood, a prequel series set in the Dune universe, has faced multiple delays since its announcement in 2019. Between pandemic-related challenges and needing to replace both its lead actor and director, Dune: The Sisterhood has had a rough start even without the strike. Luckily, for creators on this series, Dune: The Sisterhood is another Equity show and shouldn’t be affected, at least at this time.
More Actors Unions Could Join The Strike
Of course, all of this is subject to change as Equity leaders have made it clear that they don’t want to antagonize SAG-AFTRA. In fact, the organization has promised to stand in solidarity with the American actors’ and writers’ unions, and it is possible that they might also stop filming in an act of solidarity if the strike is not resolved soon.
If this happens, all shows on this list (except for Squid Game) could be affected.
The ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike has caused significant disruptions in the television industry, forcing many TV series to pause production until executives at major Hollywood studios meet the creative’s demands. While some shows covered by labor unions outside the USA, such as Equity, have found loopholes to continue filming, the impact on American actors and writers remains a concern.
As fans eagerly await the resolution of these labor disputes, it remains to be seen how long the delays will last and the extent of their impact on the television landscape.