Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 14:34 UK

Actors' leader downplays strike

SAG president Alan Rosenberg
Union boss Alan Rosenberg says negotiations are ongoing

The Screen Actors Guild leader has said that strike action is not imminent as their contract with Hollywood studios comes close to running out.

Alan Rosenberg the union has taken "no steps" to initiate industrial action and called speculation "a distraction".

TV and movie studio bosses took out adverts in the industry press calling any strike "harmful and unnecessary".

Several projects have already been put on hold in case actors walk off set if a dispute over new contracts escalates.

Hollywood concern

The two sides remain locked in talks to thrash out a new agreement before the existing contract becomes null and void at midnight Tuesday.

SAG rally in June 2008
Members of SAG rally outside the organisation's headquarters

A spokesman for the Alliance of Motion Pictures and TV Producers (AMPTP) blamed the shutdown of the industry on the actors' union for taking talks beyond the deadline.

Mr Rosenberg said SAG was "coming to the bargaining table every day in good faith to negotiate a fair contract for actors".

The union represents some 120,000 film and TV actors.

They are also contesting a deal reached with studio bosses by another acting guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

There is concern in Hollywood that there will be a repeat of the Screen Writers Guild strike which damaged film and TV production from November to February.

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