I’d love to answer these to the best of my abilities. I’m no scholar, and can only speak to my own personal career.
There used to be, in fact I’m sure there still are, but in 2012 SAG merged with AFTRA and became sort of a super union that claims jurisdiction over the entire entertainment industry. Other entertainment unions almost certainly exist, but SAG/AFTRA is a VERY big dog.
ABSOLUTELY! And in fact, from what I understand, there’s nothing ACTUALLY stopping a casting director from choosing a non union actor for a union project aside from professional pressure. It’s really down to whether they want to have that argument with a union representative, or just go with a big name no one will fight them about.
If that pressure disappears so do all of my hang-ups. I’ve just always thought a union should stand up for people that are easily taken advantage of. They’ve done that in this case with the strike, but for those of us who aren’t part of 160,000 member SAG/AFTRA, they’ve really done nothing at all except promise to blacklist us if we broke the picket line. This is America and media is our export. There are far more than 160,000 performers in our 300,000,000 plus population. It’s hard for me to look at SAG/AFTRA as doing anything other than trying to stop this rapidly growing market from escaping their submission hold.