‘The Chosen’ becomes first show to receive waiver amid Hollywood strike

The Chosen | The Chosen

The history-making, multi-season series about the life of Jesus Christ, "The Chosen," is believed to be the first show granted an exemption to continue shooting during the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strike.

The Screen Actors Guild, known as SAG-AFTRA, and Writers Guild of America are currently on an ongoing labor strike, bringing most of Hollywood's movies and show productions to an indefinite stop.

The prayers of The Chosen fans were answered this week as the popular Christian-based TV series was given the green light to move forward with its Season 4 production to include filming the main cast, many of which are in the actors' union. 

"Update: Great news! We just received word from SAG that we have been approved for a waiver. We'll continue shooting on Monday," "The Chosen" creators shared on Twitter on Sunday.

They added, "To be clear: 1. We've agreed to all of SAG's requests and their interim agreement. 2. Season 4 is entirely independent and 100% funded by donations."

"The Chosen" creators sent a public message to SAG pleading with them to allow them to film their latest season despite the halt.

Last week, Director Dallas Jenkins posted a message on Twitter saying that the SAG didn't provide a waiver in time to avoid a minor shutdown. 

"[W]e'll wait and hope that either the strike ends (unlikely soon), or that we're granted an exemption and can resume filming," Jenkins wrote.

"Yes, it's upsetting and will cost time and money…but we bring our 5 loaves & 2 fish. God handles the rest." he insisted. The team was worried that they too would have to pause their filming in Utah for a prolonged period of time until they received a waiver or the strike was over.

SAG-AFTRA members are reportedly fighting for a more "equitable division of the profits" from the TV show and movies they star in. Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers maintained that SAG negotiators chose to forego "the highest percentage increase in minimums in 35 years" to go on strike instead. 

SAG-AFTRA speaks for over 160,000 members representing actors, voice artists, background actors and stunt coordinators. 

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers represents major film studios such as Disney and Paramount, the television networks Fox, NBC, and the streaming services Netflix and Amazon.

The strike is now in its third month with no end in sight.

It is being heavily reported that "The Chosen" is the first known show to be granted a waiver.

Due to its unique funding, the Angel Studios original series was granted the waiver because it does not have ties to TV or movie studios for funding. "The Chosen" is not associated with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Despite its success, the series' grassroots beginning was all crowdfunded. The Angel Studios original started as a crowdfunding project in 2019 and has now grown into a global phenomenon being streamed by over 500 million people. Its new distribution partnership with Lionsgate will now continue to expand its reach worldwide.

Lionsgate is the studio behind "Jesus Revolution," and they acquired sub-licensing distribution rights worldwide for the history-making series "The Chosen" in May. They have since secured licensing deals with a number of major studios like Netflix, Amazon, CW, and Peacock, to name a few.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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