Bryan Alexander of USA Today writes that the Christian historical drama “The Chosen” has been granted a waiver by the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). The waiver allows certain, unionized actors to work and promote a series while remaining on strike for all other projects.
The SAG-AFTRA has expressed a willingness to continue supporting independently funded movies and shows under some circumstances. Producers created “The Chosen” through crowdfunding. The upcoming fourth season four has been entirely financed by donations.
Prayers for the “The Chosen” have been answered during the ongoing actors’ strike.
The streaming faith series, about the life of Jesus Christ, has been granted one of the first exemptions from the Screen Actors Guild to continue filming its fourth season during an actors’ strike that has shut down the production of most TV shows and movies.
Creator and director Dallas Jenkins praised the return to shooting the season’s final two weeks after just one missed working day due to the strike that began Thursday.
“Great news! We just received word from SAG that we have been approved for a waiver. We’ll continue shooting on Monday,” Jenkins wrote.
“We’ve worked hard to accommodate all of SAG’s requests and their interim agreement,” Jenkins said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We appreciate their recognition of us as an independent as well as their hard work in this process.” SAG-AFTRA representatives did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
With a cast led by SAG member Jonathan Roumie as Jesus Christ, “The Chosen” filmmakers had framed the initial shutdown in biblical terms before the reprieve. “It’s upsetting and will cost time and money,” Jenkins wrote on Twitter. “But we bring our 5 loaves & 2 fish. God handles the rest.”
Jenkins cited the streaming phenom show’s independent credentials for the clearance. “The Chosen” performed a crowd-funding miracle by raising $37 million to produce the first two seasons, and has relied entirely on donations for each season with no licensing deals.