September 25, 2023

Matt Damon, Jamie Lee Curtis, more stars share their thoughts on the actors’ strike

Hollywood heavyweights support the actors’ strike, which officially starts at midnight on Thursday.

After a month of tense negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the major studios, talks broke down at midnight on Wednesday (PDT), and the union’s negotiating committee unanimously recommended a vote by the national board to declare a strike. SAG-AFTRA chairman Fran Drescher appeared at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, where the strike was officially announced.

The actors join the striking Writers Guild of America, whose members have been on the picket line since May 2 to shut down much of the American film and television industry.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher at a press conference announcing the July 13, 2023 actors' strike in Los Angeles.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher at a press conference announcing the July 13, 2023 actors’ strike in Los Angeles.

On Thursday morning, Jeremy Renner showed his support for the strike in an Instagram story highlighting “A necessary change…”

“Barbie” star Margot Robbie told Sky News she supported and observed the strike: “I’m a big supporter of all unions, and I’m part of SAG. So I would absolutely support that.”

While in conversation with the Associated Press at a promotional event for “Oppenheimer” in London prior to the vote, Matt Damon emphasized the importance of residual payments.

“What we would strike for, if we did strike, is incredibly important,” he told the outlet. “We have to protect the people who are on the margins. $26,000 a year is what you have to earn to get your health insurance. And there are a lot of people who — residual payments are what gets them over that threshold. When those residual payments dry up, so does their health care, and that is absolutely unacceptable.”

Citing director Christopher Nolan, the BBC reports that Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt left the British premiere of the film due to the strike.

SAG-AFTRA strike live updates: What you need to know as Hollywood actors prepare for the picket line

Matt Damon attends the London premiere of

Matt Damon attends the premiere of “Oppenheimer” in London on July 13, 2023.

Octavia Spencer shared a letter of support for SAG-AFTRA from Teamsters, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Writers Guild and Directors Guild of America (DGA) on Instagram.

“I stand alongside my fellow #SAGAFTRAMembers during the #SAGStrike alongside the #WGA in their struggle,” Spencer captioned the post. “And I support the many skilled union workers in all sectors who deserve fair compensation. We can’t do it without each other.”

Trevor Donovan recommended his Twitter followers turn on Netflix to see a representation of actors’ concerns.

“If you’re not very familiar with the entertainment industry and curious about one of the main concerns behind the #SAGAFTRA strike, I recommend watching the ‘Joan Is Awful’ episode of ‘Black Mirror’.” He wrote. “It serves as a strong warning of the growing presence of AI in entertainment and the need to address its impact quickly.”

Matthew Modine thought about becoming “a proud member” of SAG in 1981.

“Since I joined, SAG has always had my back,” reads his statement, emailed Thursday. “Let us unite, artists, filmmakers and industry professionals, in unwavering support for the strike. Together we demand fairness, fair treatment and a future where the contributions of every member in the entertainment industry are valued and respected. Our Solidarity is our strength as we strive to create a more equitable and inclusive landscape for future generations.”

‘We are the victim here’: Hollywood actors are on strike and shutting down the film and TV industry

Jack Quaid tweeted“If we have to strike… THEN WE WILL STRIIIIIIIIKEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

Taraji P. Henson considers the actors’ demands to be incredibly reasonable.

“Greed will be the end of humanity,” she predicted. “That’s what will kill us all, and the things the actors are asking for is common sense. You can’t use my image and get paid, and I don’t see anything. That’s just highway robbery.”

On Wednesday, while promoting her new movie “Haunted Mansion” in an Instagram post, Jamie Lee Curtis addressed the strike. “The souls of ghosts of artists long gone urge us in this modern moment to fight for our rights to exist as creators,” she wrote. “What I will say is that although I am computer generated (in her role), it is OF my PERFORMANCE, my sense of comedic timing and you CANNOT replicate that with a machine. I stand STRONG with my union @sagaftra “

Writers strike 2023 explained: Why the WGA ran away, what it means for TV and film

Contributors: Kelly Lawler

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SAG-AFTRA strike: what Matt Damon, Jamie Lee Curtis, say more

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