SAG-AFTRA strike causes changes to annual actors’ reunion in Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Over the years, actors and actresses from the hit TV show “One Tree Hill,” which was filmed in Wilmington, have been returning to their old stomping grounds for an all-out reunion with fans.
The non-profit, Friends With Benefit, which hosts the events says this year, says operations will run a little differently due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Typically, actors like Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty from the hit TV show, amongst other work in their catalog, suit up in their old basketball gear and have a ball, all in the name of giving back and meeting fans.
“Anytime that there’s an event happening, Wilmington just turns into Tree Hill,” said FWB volunteer, Alyssa Bleau.
But this year, that game won’t be happening due to the strike.
“So, unfortunately, there’s been a lot of obstacles. This was completely unforeseen this year,” said Bleau.
Bleau says actors and actresses, however, are still flying into Wilmington on Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 11-12 to meet fans.
Celebrities such as Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Lenz, Hilarie Burton Morgan, Sophia Bush, Robert Buckley, Austin Nichols, Moira Kelly, Bevin Prince and Stephen Colletti will all be in attendance over the two weekends..
However, the events will not be centered around any specific show this year.
“They are simply celebrities that coincidentally have all been on the same show together,” said Bleau. “We have to give the celebrities and actors that respect and what they’re fighting for.”
Some of the events include a “Holiday in Wilmington,” where fans will have a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner with celebrities, as well as photo opportunities and book signings to name a few.
But Bleau says throughout the planning process, the nonprofit has had to jump through many hoops, such as processing refunds for fans, postponing and even completely canceling events. The charity says it hasn’t been easy.
“Numbers, unfortunately, this year have gone down from previous years just because of all the changes that have been happening,” said Bleau.
Bleau says, however, that having the actors’ commitment to the fans and to the charity has meant everything.
“I know that it means everything to the fans. You know obviously, we didn’t anticipate the strike happening, but I think with them still coming and being able to continue events on some capacity is what’s most important,” said Bleau.
80 percent of all proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Hospital.
For a full list of the events and tickets, click here.
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