Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

Lawrence Kim
July 3, 2020

SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors, has issued a "do not work" order for the upcoming pandemic thriller Songbird, which is being produced by Michael Bay.

"Songbird" had been announced in mid-May as a low-budget production that would shoot in Los Angeles. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Actors issued a do not work order Thursday, saying the filmmakers have not been transparent about safety protocols and had not signed the proper agreements with the union. SAG-AFTRA warned members that they could be disciplined if they work on "Songbird".

The organisation told the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday (June 2) that they are taking safety protocols "very seriously" and that the film's producers "have not yet become signatory to our agreement". The union that represents film actors is telling its members not to work on the pandemic thriller "Songbird", one of the first films in production after coronavirus closures.

The film, whose cast was unveiled on June 24, is backed by Bay, as well as Invisible Narratives, run by former Paramount Pictures exec Adam Goodman and Disney exec Andrew Sugerman, and Catchlight Films, founded by Blumhouse veterans Jessica Hall Malanaphy and Jeanette Volturno and producers Marcei A. Brown and Rick A. Osako. "We have no further comment".

THR.com reported that in a note sent to its members Thursday, SAG-AFRA stated 'the producer of the picture entitled Songbird, has failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement'. "Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution".

Director Adam Mason was believed to be getting ready to start filming later this month.

"Songbird" is a thriller set two years in the future at a time when a global pandemic has still not gone away, leading to conspiracies, paranoia and increasingly strict quarantines and lock downs put in place all surrounding the main characters.

Representatives for Bay, Mason, Boyes, Invisible Narratives, Catchlight Studios, Endeavor Content and ICM Partners did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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