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How to Avoid Being a SCAB and Support the 2023 Strikes

As the entertainment industry grapples with strikes initiated by actors and writers, it is crucial for aspiring filmmakers and industry enthusiasts to find a balance between their passion for film production and supporting the rights of those on strike.

By understanding the concept of "SCAB" and exploring alternative ways to contribute positively, we can demonstrate solidarity with the actors and writers while still pursuing our dreams in the industry. This article aims to provide guidance on how to avoid being a SCAB and actively support the ongoing strike.

  • Educate Yourself: To begin, it is essential to understand the historical meaning of being a SCAB. When the term first became part of American vernacular on November 20, 1816, it covered anything a worker did that was anti-union. In the context of the entertainment industry, a SCAB refers to an individual who continues working despite the strike, thus undermining the collective action of the striking workers. By educating yourself about the history and connotations of the term, you can better align your actions with the cause of the actors and writers on strike. The Writers Guild of America issued a detailed set of strike rules to its members which can be found here:

  • Refrain from Directly Replacing Striking Workers: To demonstrate solidarity with striking actors and writers and show respect for their cause, it's essential to avoid taking on roles or responsibilities that would directly impact the strike. This includes refraining from occupying job positions typically held by those currently on strike. By doing so, you help prevent any potential conflicts and support their efforts to bring about positive change in their working conditions or demands.


  • Collaborate with Non-Striking Professionals: While some sectors may be affected by the strike, there are numerous professionals in the industry who may not be directly involved. Seek out opportunities to collaborate with them during this period. By working with non-striking individuals, you contribute to the continuity of production while avoiding direct conflict with the striking workers.

  • Show Solidarity: Even if you are not directly participating in the strike, it is crucial to show your support for the actors and writers.

Attend rallies, sign petitions, and engage in discussions about the strike on social media or within industry circles. By vocalizing your support and raising awareness, you contribute to the broader movement for fair treatment and improved conditions within the industry.

  • Advocate for Fair Negotiations: Use your voice to advocate for fair negotiations between the striking workers and the relevant industry representatives. This can include writing open letters, contacting industry associations, or joining organizations that support the cause. Encourage transparent and respectful dialogue to ensure the concerns of all parties are addressed.

We already know that independent sources like A24 have slated more than 39 films all meeting the standards that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are looking for. During special events or strikes, some rules or guidelines may be temporarily adjusted to accommodate specific needs. 39 films are now given exemptions, meaning they are allowed to deviate from the regular rules.

Among these films, some have already been finished, but their actors or stars are now given waivers. A waiver is like a permission slip that allows these actors to promote their completed films, even though they might be affected by certain restrictions.

This teachable moment can help independent filmmakers understand how exceptions are sometimes made in unique circumstances, and how waivers can provide flexibility while still adhering to certain guidelines. It also highlights the importance of fair and consistent decision-making when dealing with exceptions and exemptions.

During the strike, explore alternative avenues to develop your film production skills and knowledge. Engage in independent projects, collaborate with emerging talent, or focus on personal creative endeavors. By continuing to build your portfolio outside the confines of mainstream productions, you can progress in your journey without compromising the principles behind the strike.


While navigating the entertainment strike, it is crucial to find a balance between pursuing your film production aspirations and supporting the rights of the striking actors and writers. By avoiding direct replacement of striking workers, collaborating with non-striking professionals, and actively showing solidarity, you can contribute to a fairer and more equitable industry. Remember, the goal is not to hinder your progress but to ensure that the industry operates in a manner that respects the rights and demands of all its members.


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