Actors band together in pay protest

Stars
of stage and screen are threatening to "exit stage left" and go on
strike, unless they get a better bonus pay deal from producers.

Equity,
the union that represents performers, has ordered its members to refuse work on
British projects from December – unless producers promise a better bonus
system.

 Ian McGarry, Equity’s general secretary,
warned power-brokers in the industry that his members are determined to get a
better deal.

 "British performers are showing their
determination to get a fair deal from the producers. You cannot make a film
without performers, yet they are being denied a share of the proceeds. I hope
that they will take note of the strength of feeling being displayed by
performers," he said.

The
dispute revolves around secondary payments to actors for work released on
video, DVD, and TV repeats.

A
host of UK stars have backed the campaign including Paul Scofield, Julie
Walters, Tom Conti, Simon Callow, Edward Woodward, Ewan McGregor, Ricky
Tomlinson and Su Pollard.

By Ross Wigham

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