"The Chosen" Series Gets Waiver to Continue Filming During Strike

Jonathan Roumie portrays Jesus in the series "The Chosen" | "The Chosen"

Filming of the fourth season of “The Chosen,” the popular Christian television series about Jesus and his disciples, will continue after a union granted the production an exemption from its strike against major Hollywood studios. 

The strike was announced July 13 by the SAG-AFTRA, the union of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists that represents more than 160,000 members such as actors, journalists, and singers. “The Chosen” initially said on Twitter that it was affected by the strike because it employs actors who are members of the SAG, which, according to Deadline, includes Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays the role of Christ.

Responding to questions online, the show said that it requested an exemption because it is privately funded.

The show said on Twitter Sunday that it had been granted a “waiver” and filming would continue on Monday. Deadline confirmed that filming continued on Monday and “is due to wrap in two weeks.”

“To be clear: 1. We’ve agreed to all of SAG’s requests and their interim agreement. 2. Season 4 is entirely independent and 100% funded by donations,” the show said in a tweet on Sunday.


“The Chosen” is the first reported series to be granted an exemption from the strike, according to Deadline.

In its original announcement about the pause in filming due to the strike, director Dallas Jenkins said on the show’s Twitter account: “Unfortunately, despite the requested work we did on our end, an exemption for us will not be granted in time to avoid a shutdown. We will do a little filming tomorrow of everything that doesn’t require our cast, and then we’ll wait and hope that either the strike ends (unlikely soon), or that we’re granted an exemption and can resume filming.”

“Yes, it’s upsetting and will cost time and money … but we bring our 5 loaves & 2 fish. God handles the rest,” Jenkins added.

SAG-AFTRA’s strike is in response to failed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios such as NBCUniversal, Disney, Netflix, and others. 

According to the SAG-AFTRA, inflation and a major shift to streaming media have struck the industry, negatively affecting workers’ compensation.

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The AMPTP has “refused to offer a fair agreement that addresses these existential threats,” the SAG-AFTRA said. 

On July 16, “The Chosen” began airing on the CW Network, a major broadcasting television station. Its first three seasons will air there, with the Season Three finale available on Christmas Eve. 

A video of the filming of “The Chosen” can be seen below.



Joseph Bukuras is a staff writer at the Catholic News Agency. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Catholic University of America. He has interned in the U.S. House of Representatives, on a U.S. Senate campaign, in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives, and at the Susan B. Anthony List. He is based out of the Boston area