Meryl Streep , Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and more have all donated large sums of money to SAG-AFTRA amid the historic joint union strike with the WGA. The strike hit its 90 day mark recently, and these high profile acclaimed actors continue to show support for the strikers in need of adequate pay and residuals. The strike between both entertainment unions is the first in 60 years. SAG-AFTRA represents more than 150,000 television and movie actors. The actors’ union strike began in July, after the WGA strike began in May.
"For more than 38 years, the Foundation has been a safety net for our community during its most challenging times." – SAG-AFTRA Foundation President @CourtneyBVance
— SAG-AFTRA Foundation (@sagaftraFOUND) August 2, 2023
The first joint strike between the two unions was led by then SAG-AFTRA President Ronald Reagan, who went on to be president of the U.S. Now, current SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher is leading the charge. Drescher is among several notable stars who have appeared on the picket lines of the strike, encouraging household names to raise awareness surrounding the cause.
Today. Drescher spoke on the Today Show regarding the union’s interim agreement with several indie production companies. Notably, acclaimed indie production house A24 has been cleared to continue shooting a current project after agreeing to the union’s list of demands. The bargaining points include better pay for all actors amid streaming services, protections against unethical uses of AI, and more.
Fran Drescher shares details about the interim agreement SAG-AFTRA has with independent production companies amid the #SAGAFTRAStrike: "This is a very smart and strategic move on behalf of SAG-AFTRA." pic.twitter.com/5z9V6mrEWb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 2, 2023
Updates From The Picket Line
SAG-AFTRA continues to share live updates from the picket lines in New York City and Los Angeles. Octavia Spencer offered her perspective on the historic movement.
Here's to the strikes ending with EVERYONE being compensated fairly.#sagaftramember Octavia Spencer joined the #SAGAFTRAstrike and #WGAstrike picket line with WGA member Sean Anders today. Thank you, Octavia! #SAGAFTRAstrong pic.twitter.com/o2kQxygu2N
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) August 1, 2023
Local politicians in Los Angeles County are also showing their support for SAG-AFTRA and the WGA’s objectives.
The crowd was FIRED 🔥 UP 🔥 at Universal Studios yesterday as #sagaftramembers came together in solidarity. Thank you, Congressman Jimmy Gomez and Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony, for your continued support! #SAGAFTRAstrong pic.twitter.com/rZRzqS1HDB
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) August 2, 2023
The celebrity donations come as a part of the union’s emergency fund for performers in crisis. Many of the actors most impacted by the strike previously held supporting roles on major streamers and were paid slim to no residuals. The low to no residual payments often disqualifies actors from insurance coverage, which is especially challenging for actors supporting their families.
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) August 2, 2023
Several major studio leads have spoken out against the strike. Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav previously stated that he wanted to “avoid” the strike ahead of its beginning in May. Most recently, Disney CEO Bob Iger referred to the joint strike as “disturbing.” Due to Iger’s status as a multi-millionaire, the studio head continues to receive mass public criticism. Actor Bryan Cranston named him in a speech at a New York City protest.
'We will not allow you to take away our dignity' — 'Breaking Bad' actor Bryan Cranston called out Disney CEO Bob Iger in a rousing speech at a SAG-AFTRA rally in NYC on Tuesday pic.twitter.com/VVJoFTiAtJ
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 27, 2023
The strike remains ongoing, with no confirmed negotiations between the respective unions and the major studios in sight at this time.