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actors may be next to Strike...
cream of British acting talent, such as Alan Rickman,
is threatening to bring the UK film industry to a
halt in a dispute over pay, it was disclosed last
night and Ireland may just be next. More than 200
leading performers have signed up to a campaign calling
for a bigger share of the proceeds from films for
include Alan Rickman, Julie Walters, Paul Scofield,
Kathy Burke, Greta Scacchi, John Thaw, Peter Postlethwaite,
Simon Callow and Frances de la Tour.
actors' union, Equity, is calling for the re-negotiation
of the cinema films agreement. Under the agreement,
in the UK, actors are paid a flat fee in advance for
television broadcasts of films, video and DVD sales
as well as merchandising.
they get nothing extra, unlike their US colleagues,
who benefit every time a film is shown on television,
sold on video or DVD, or merchandising connected with
the film is sold.
union has highlighted the film Mission Impossible,
starring Tom Cruise, as an example of the difficulties
facing UK actors. To date 1.8 million US dollars (about
1.2 million) has been distributed to US actors as
a result of the success of the film but not one penny
has been paid to the British performers who worked
alongside them, the union has claimed.
were due to be held on Friday between Equity and Pact,
the film producers' organisation.
Martin Brown, spokesman for Equity, said if
the talks failed, the union could propose action in
which UK actors refused new contracts. "We understand
that the British industry is not Hollywood and we
know that there are difficulties in financing films.
We are happy to take all that on board," he said.
are not saying the American system or nothing. What
we are asking for is an acceptance of the principle
of continuing payments linked to the use. Once they
have accepted that we can talk about the mechanism."
The Irish actors Union have still not threatened a
strike but it still may be on the cards as more and
more US blockbusters are made here using the wealth
of Irish talent.