Threat prompts closure of IATSE Grip Local 80 office

(Event poster for event)

Last week, The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Grip Local 80 temporarily shuttered its offices in response to a threatening letter that made reference to the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strike. The incident was initially reported by Puck.

Authorities from the Burbank Police Department are currently investigating the situation, although no arrests have been made.

The event titled, “A.I. in Film: Tool or Terror” was scheduled to happen on August 26 at the Local 80’s stage and office in Burbank. The panel was to feature Producer-Writer-Director and A.I. SAG-AFTRA advisor, Justine Bateman as well as two “mystery” guests.

In a statement, Burbank P.D. confirmed their awareness of the threat and shared that detectives are diligently assessing the credibility and validity of the message. As a precautionary measure, IATSE has decided to close its offices, with no further details being disclosed at this time.

Dejon Ellis, Jr., IATSE’s business manager, revealed that the threatening letter was sent by an anonymous member who expressed alarming sentiments. Ellis stated, “He said some very scary things. He’s just mad. He says he’s out of work and homeless. He’s distraught. I don’t know if it’s a cry for help or not knowing how to control his anger.”

As of now, IATSE has refrained from making any public statements regarding the incident. However, Bateman confirmed that the panel had been canceled due to the circumstances.

The closure of IATSE Local 80 offices serves as a reminder of the tensions surrounding the ongoing strike which has now entered day 123 for the WGA and emphasizes the need for dialogue and understanding among all parties involved.

For Reel 360 News’ full strike coverage, click here.

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