Hollywood heavyweights are showing up in support of the actors’ strike, which officially begins at midnight on Thursday.
After a month of tense negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and major studios, talks collapsed at midnight Wednesday (PDT), and the union’s bargaining committee unanimously recommended a vote by its national board of directors to call for a strike. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher appeared at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, where the strike was officially announced.
The actors are joining the Writers Guild of America strike, whose members have been on the picket line since May 2, to halt production across much of America’s film and television industry.
On Thursday morning, Jeremy Renner showed his support for the strike in an Instagram story highlighting “A change needed…”
Star “Barbie” Margot Robbie told Sky News she supported and would observe the strike: “I’m very supportive of all unions and I’m part of SAG. So I’ll stick to that absolutely.”
While speaking to The Associated Press at a promotional event for “Oppenheimer” in London ahead of the vote, Matt Damon stressed the importance of residual payments.
“What we would be hitting for, if we were hitting, is incredibly important,” he told the outlet. “We have to protect people who are kind of marginal. $26,000 a year is what you have to earn to get your health insurance. And there’s a lot of people who — the residual payments are what get them over that threshold. If those residual payments run out, so does their health care, and that’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Citing director Christopher Nolan, the BBC reports that Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt have left the film’s UK premiere, due to the strike.
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Octavia Spencer shared a letter of support for SAG-AFTRA from Teamsters, the International Theater Stage Employees Alliance (IATSE), the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to Instagram.
“Standing with my fellow #SAGAFTRAMembers during #SAGStrike alongside the #WGA in their fight,” Spencer captioned the post. “And I support the many skilled union workers in all industries who deserve fair compensation. We can’t do this without each other.”
Trevor Donovan recommended that his Twitter followers turn on Netflix to see a depiction of the actors’ concerns.
“If you are not very familiar with the entertainment industry and are curious about one of the main concerns behind the #SAGAFTRA strike, I recommend you watch the episode” Joan Is Awful “from “Black Mirror””, he wrote. “This is a powerful warning of the growing presence of AI in entertainment and the need to address its impact quickly.”
Matthew Modine reflected on becoming “a proud member” of SAG in 1981.
“From the moment I joined, SAG has always had my back,” reads his statement emailed Thursday. “Let us, artists, filmmakers and industry professionals, stand united in unwavering support for the strike. Together, we demand justice, fair treatment and a future where the contributions of every member of the entertainment industry are valued and Our solidarity is our strength as we strive to create a more just and inclusive landscape for generations to come.
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Jack Quaid tweeted“If we have to strike… THEN WE GO STRIIIIIIIIKEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”
Taraji P. Henson considers the actors’ requests to be incredibly reasonable.
“Greed is going to be the end of humanity,” she predicted. “It’s what’s gonna kill us all, and what actors are asking is common sense. You can’t use my likeness and get paid, and I see nothing. It’s just a theft of highway.
While promoting her new movie “Haunted Mansion” in an Instagram post on Wednesday, Jamie Lee Curtis addressed the strike. “The ghost souls of performers from the past urge us in this modern moment to fight for our rights to exist as creators,” she wrote. “What I will say is that even though I AM computer generated (in his role), it’s MY PERFORMANCE, my comedic sense of timing and you CANNOT replicate that with a machine. I stay STRONG with my union @sagaftra”
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Contributor: Kelly Lawler
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SAG-AFTRA Strike: What Matt Damon, Jamie Lee Curtis and More Say