SAG-AFTRA Blasts the Oscars Over ‘Graceless Pressure Tactics’

January 15, 2019, 2:12 PM UTC

SAG-AFTRA—the union that represents 160,000 actors, artists, writers, and other creators—has issued a harsh rebuke against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In a statement on Monday, SAG-AFTRA accused the Academy, which puts on the Oscars each year, of exerting “extraordinary and unwanted pressure on talent” in an effort to stop them from appearing on competing awards shows. SAG-AFTRA didn’t say which awards shows the Academy targeted, but the organization hosts its own show, the SAG Awards, each year ahead of the Oscars.

“We have received multiple reports of these activities and have experienced firsthand the Academy’s graceless pressure tactics and attempts to control the awards show talent pipeline,” the organization wrote in its statement. SAG-AFTRA went on to say that “actors should be free to accept any offer to participate in industry celebrations.”

The comments follow increasing pressure against the Academy following missteps leading up to the awards show. For the first time in decades, the Oscars won’t have a host after comedian Kevin Hart stepped down following homophobic comments he made in the past. The Academy has also tried to boost the appeal of its awards show with a new “most popular” category that has earned near-universal derision.

SAG-AFTRA’s allegations now suggest the Academy engages in pressure behind the scenes to get the best representation among Hollywood’s elite. Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter discussed the issue earlier this month, saying that the Oscars and Golden Globes engage in a “tug-of-war.”

For its part, SAG-AFTRA was clear in where it stands on the matter in its statement on Monday. The union called the Academy’s tactics “self-serving intimidation” and called on the organization to “cease this inappropriate action.”

The Academy did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment.