SAG-AFTRA Condemns 'Tulsa King' Incident: Zero Tolerance for On-Set Disrespect

Allegations surface from "Tulsa King" production, stirring industry debate

by Zain ul Abedin
SAG-AFTRA Condemns 'Tulsa King' Incident: Zero Tolerance for On-Set Disrespect
© Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

In a recent development that has stirred the entertainment industry, the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has officially addressed concerns surrounding the workplace atmosphere on the set of Paramount+'s series "Tulsa King." The allegations targeted lead actor Sylvester Stallone, accusing him of fostering a "toxic environment" particularly detrimental to the background actors during the show's production in Atlanta.

A spokesperson from SAG-AFTRA emphasized the union's zero-tolerance policy for any disrespect on set. "Disparaging comments towards background actors or performers are utterly unacceptable," the statement asserted. Despite not receiving a direct complaint regarding the incident, SAG-AFTRA affirmed its dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of cast members across all projects.

It was also mentioned that the union's TV/theatrical agreements do not extend to background actors in Atlanta. However, the spokesperson highlighted the organization's readiness to offer support and guidance when sought. The issue reportedly received attention from the production's department heads, who reinforced the importance of maintaining a respectful work environment.

As of now, Sylvester Stallone has not stated the matter. Furthermore, according to Variety, attempts to obtain a comment from a Paramount representative were met without response.

Stallone Set Controversy

The controversy came to light following a post by TV writer Julie Benson on the social platform X/Twitter, who shared alarming feedback from a friend working as a background actor on "Tulsa King".

The post detailed an incident where Stallone allegedly made derogatory comments about the appearance and abilities of background actors, prompting a casting agent to resign in protest of the toxic atmosphere. Screenshots of communications shared by Benson included accusations of Stallone and a director mocking individuals on set, targeting their physical appearances and disabilities with derogatory remarks.

"Tulsa King", a brainchild of "Yellowstone" creator Taylor Sheridan, is filming its second season in Atlanta. This news starkly contrasts the celebrated launch of its first season in November 2022, filmed in Oklahoma. The unfolding situation raises critical questions about workplace conduct within the entertainment industry, highlighting the need for ongoing vigilance and accountability to ensure a respectful and safe environment for all participants in production.