Special Ops: Lioness Premiere Canceled In Response to SAG-AFTRA Strike

There will be no red carpet premiere for Paramount’s “Special Ops: Lioness,” Variety has learned. The cancellation comes on the heels of SAG-AFTRA’s announcement that the guild will commence its own strike against the film and TV companies, alongside the Writers Guild.

“We recognize this is disappointing news and apologize for any inconvenience it causes. We are very excited to celebrate the series and can’t wait for it to debut to Paramount+ audiences on July 23rd,” read Paramount+’s official confirmation of the change in plans for the premiere event of Taylor Sheridan’s military drama .

Originally scheduled to take place on July 18 at the Directors Guild of America Theatre in Los Angeles, the “Special Ops: Lioness” premiere was scheduled to include appearances by stars including Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira, Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Kelly, Dave Annable, Jill Wagner, LaMonica Garrett, James Jordan, Austin Hébert, Jonah Wharton, Stephanie Nur, Hannah Love Lanier and Sam Asghari.

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher made the official announcement of the strike in a bold and fiery press conference speech on Thursday. “They stand on the wrong side of history at this very moment. We stand in solidarity, in unprecedented unity. Our union and our sister unions and the unions around the world are standing by us, as well as other labor unions. Because at some point, the jig is up. You cannot keep being dwindled and marginalized and disrespected and dishonored. The entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, AI,” Drescher said.

Higher wages, increased residual payments and protections around using artificial intelligence are among the guild’s top concerns as they seek to find resolution with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

As part of the strike, principal on and off camera work such as acting, singing, dancing, voice acting, narration, etc. is no longer allowed for the time being, along with promotion and publicity services including tours, personal appearances, interviews, and premieres or screenings. The list of rules was released in a memo on Thursday.

“Special Ops: Lioness” is one of the first carpets to be canceled in light of the strike. On Wednesday, at the “Oppenheimer” London premiere, the film’s cast walked out of the screening in solidarity with the guild.

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