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SAG-AFTRA tells actors not to work on pandemic film ‘Songbird’

Michael Bay
Michael Bay attends the world premiere of “A Quiet Place Part II” in New York in March.
(Charles Sykes / Invision)

The actors union told members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie — among the first in production after coronavirus closures.

Actors had reportedly been rehearsing remotely for the film, which is produced by Michael Bay and directed by Adam Mason.

The film’s pre-production listing on IMDbPro.com says its stars include Demi Moore, Peter Stormare and Craig Robinson, and gives the description: “In a post-pandemic world, an even more serious virus continues to mutate.”

But SAG-AFTRA, the industry’s biggest union, issued a do-not-work order to its members, saying the production company “has failed to complete the signatory process,” and working on the film could result in disciplinary action.

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“The producers have not been transparent about their safety protocols and that is something we obviously take very seriously,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said in a statement. “Also, as noted in the Do Not Work order, the producers have not yet become signatory to our agreement. We have no further comment.”

The small film was among the first to attempt to resume production after the long closure. Gov. Gavin Newsom gave film and television productions the green light to resume shooting in the state starting June 12, so long as strict coronavirus protections were in place.

Messages seeking comment from the film’s production companies and representatives for Bay and Mason were not immediately returned.


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