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Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 09:49 GMT
Spacey's union clarion call

Kevin Spacey: The first celebrity to support last year's actors' strike
Actor Kevin Spacey has called on fellow actors not to take non-union work outside the US, as Hollywood braces itself for more rounds of strikes.

The Oscar-winning star of American Beauty appealed for actors to take work only with Screen Actors Guild (SAG) contracts, in a surprise speech to the union in Los Angeles.

SAG members have threatened to go on strike if they do not negotiate a satisfactory new contract with Hollywood film and television producers in June.

Mr Spacey's speech is seen as a clarion call for fellow actors to support any possible strike by not accepting work overseas.

Foreign production

In recent months, foreign production has increased sharply as producers stockpile TV shows and films to reduce the impact of anticipated strikes later this year by SAG, as well as the Writers Guild of America and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

The three organisations want to renegotiate fees paid to their members for work shown on the growth areas of cable, DVD, and foreign television.

The actor spoke for 10 minutes at the end of the SAG meeting, which was closed to the general public, and he was given several standing ovations.

Last year, Mr Spacey lent his support to strike action by SAG over advertising earnings, and was the first high-profile figure to donate $100,000 (60,000) to the union's strike relief fund.

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See also:

15 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood writers' strike 'inevitable'
10 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood directors attack writers' demands
18 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Hurley fined for strike-breaking ad
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Hollywood bruised by strike
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