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General Hospital

Soap Stars Join the SAG-AFTRA Picket Lines

Most of the entertainment industry has been immobilized by the SAG-AFTRA strike after the performers’ union voted on July 14 that its members should walk out on film and television productions after failing to reach a deal with Hollywood’s biggest studios. Soap opera actors, however, are among the few performers that are not on strike, as daytime performers are employed under the union’s SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Television Broadcasting (aka Network Code). The Netcode contract, as it’s often called for short, covers soap operas, morning news shows, talk shows, variety shows, reality shows, game shows, and sports programs.

Yet while their contract prohibits soap actors from walking out on their jobs, many of them have been vocal on social media about their support for their fellow SAG-AFTRA performers, who are fighting for fairer wages, increased residual pay for content on streaming services, and protection against the use of Artificial Intelligence, among other issues.

As GENERAL HOSPITAL star Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) explained on Twitter, only a small percentage of SAG-AFTRA actors are billionaires, while most are struggling to earn a decent salary. “There are 160,000 union actors. Actors you know by name are maybe 300. Million-dollar actors are maybe 200,” she shared. “It takes a big village of actors to make a film, and the village you see in film and TV don’t make a living wage. This strike is for them, not Tom Cruise.”

To illustrate the point of just how little actors earn in residuals — the financial compensation they receive whenever a television show or movie they’ve appeared in is replayed — Sarah Brown (ex-Carly and Claudia, GH; ex-Aggie, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Madison, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) shared a screenshot of her payout for her roles in episodes of CASTLE and CODE BLACK. “I shot “Cabin Pressure,” for ABC Studios & CBS Television Studios in May 2018. My pay was ‘top of show’ guest star. Still getting upwards of 0.7 cents in some markets,” she wrote. “We deserve fair contracts and we’re more than willing to fight for them. In solidarity with my fellow union members in SAG-AFTRA and our friends in the Writers Guild of America.” (The Writers Guild of America members have been on strike since May 2, making this the first time in more than 60 years that both the actors union and the writers union have been on strike simultaneously.)

Sarah Joy Brown residuals

Over the past week, many stars from GH, B&B, DAYS, and THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS have joined their SAG-AFTRA brothers and sisters on the picket line.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some of those who are showing their support as well as some daytime graduates who are on strike for fairer compensation.

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