Actor-turned-writer/director Nick Loeb enjoyed some attention when he decided to premiere his “not a preachy, pro-life religious movie” Roe v. Wade at CPAC last week, but the people who really noticed were several actors from the indie flick who say they’ve been waiting two years to get paid.
Actress Susan LaBrecque tells The Hollywood Reporter that she and as many as nine other actors who worked on the film in New Orleans in 2018—including local talent who performed for scale, or the minimum wage for actors—heard “every kind of excuse” from the production regarding their uncompensated labor until they finally turned to SAG-AFTRA for help.
According to LaBrecque, the union investigated the matter, sent it to arbitration, and ultimately sided with the cast members, and yet they still haven’t seen a dime of the scale rates and additional fees they’re owed.
“Honestly, we have been patient, quiet, and respectful, but not now,” LaBrecque told THR. “We are people in New Orleans who audition and audition and we may get two days here, one day there. It’s about the principle. We pay our SAG dues and we expect to have the respect of getting paid for what we do. But it’s also the idea that they are going to hold a film premiere and everyone will pat them on the back for making this abortion film with certain values when there’s a bunch of us who haven’t been paid yet.”
Fellow cast members Sherri Eakin and Brent Phillip Henry would also like to know where the money is, especially after seeing all the promotional material that was rolled out ahead of the CPAC premiere—which Loeb said was a “no-brainer” considering how the movie “aligns with the conservative message.”
“The actors involved have been in constant contact with SAG’s legal department as we try to resolve this issue,” Eakin said, “but the production to date has not paid nor created a payment schedule to cover back payroll and late fees owed.”
Roe V. Wade co-director and co-writer Cathy Allyn tells THR that the production released the funds in question to SAG as of February 10, adding, “They have the money and it’s up to SAG to release it.”
In a statement to Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA said, “We were finally able to secure a release on the producer’s deposit [from] February 10. We are processing the funds with a payroll company so we can get payments out to performers as quickly as possible. This does not cover all of the claims and we hope that the producer will fulfill its obligations and fully pay all talent.”
This isn’t the first time Loeb’s project has taken some heat. In 2018, he cried “fake news” when the Daily Beast reported that conservative actors Kevin Sorbo and Stephen Baldwin had turned down the film after reading the script, saying that both actors had prior commitments. He wound up landing other big names in conservative Hollywood, including Jon Voight and Stacey Dash.
Meanwhile, Loeb’s ex, Sofia Vergara has been fighting to keep the filmmaker from gaining custody of embryos they froze when they were a couple. On Tuesday, a judge sided with Vergara, issuing a permanent injunction preventing Loeb from creating a child without Vergara’s explicit written consent.
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