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SAG-AFTRA, the labor union that represents more than 160,000 film and TV stars, are officially going on strike — and several of the actors affected are vocalizing their support.
Emily Blunt said ahead of the decision that she will walk off the red carpet while promoting her new film, “Oppenheimer,” to show her solidarity.
“I think right now we are just sorting of … I hope everyone makes a fair deal and we are here to celebrate this movie,” the “Golden Globe” winner, 40, told Deadline in London Thursday.
“And if they call it, we’ll be leaving together as cast in unity with everyone … We are gonna have to. We are gonna have to. We will see what happens. Right now it’s the joy to be together.”
Filmmaker Christopher Nolan then confirmed later in the evening that his cast had indeed left the premiere due to the “struggle for fair wages.”
Jamie Lynn Spears, who has projects with both Netflix and Paramount coming out later this month, took to her Instagram Stories earlier on Thursday to share how she feels about the strike.
“It’s important and necessary that we all stick together, but it’s also heartbreaking and creates a lot of complicated feelings because you worked so hard with so many other people — not just yourself — to create this and this is your time to celebrate it,” she said.
Spears, 32, who is a member of SAG-AFTRA, explained that per the strike, she and her fellow actors are not to do any “ongoing press, social media promotion, premieres, anything” towards any projects that have wrapped or are currently in the works.
The actress was set to release Season 3 of “Steel Magnolias” on July 20 and “Zoey 102,” a film sequel for her hit Nickelodeon show, on July 27.
Meanwhile, Margot Robbie told Sky News at the London premiere of “Barbie” Wednesday that as a member of SAG-AFTRA herself she would “absolutely stand by” a strike.
Jamie Lee Curtis took to Instagram Thursday to show her support, captioning a collage of photos of herself in Hulu’s “The Bear,” “The @sagaftra symbol used to be the masks of the actors face. 🎭
“REPRESENTING the EXPRESSIONS. The EMOTIONS. The FEELINGS generated by the WORDS of their UNION MEMBERS!”
She concluded, “Union contracts PROTECT our SAFETY and EXPLOITATION! We are UNION STRONG!”
Riley Keough told Vanity Fair Wednesday, “Yeah, it’s a very strange time and we’re very uncharted and I don’t know what to expect, but I feel proud to stand in solidarity with my fellow film community, like my second family.”
The “Daisy Jones & The Six” star added, “I love this community so much and I love the support within this community and I’m hoping for a resolution soon.
“I think of course there’s concern. There’s people that aren’t able to work at the moment who need to be working. I don’t think it would be good to put all these screenwriters and actors out of jobs for very long.”
Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA, released a statement to the union’s members Thursday, explaining why they were unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the trade association that represents more than 350 major studios and streaming giants.
“From the time negotiations began on June 7, the members of our Negotiating Committee and our staff team have spent many long days, weekends and holidays working to achieve a deal that protects you, the working actors and performers on whom this industry relies,” the “Nanny” alum, 65, said in part.
“Despite our team’s dedication to advocating on your behalf, the AMPTP has refused to acknowledge that enormous shifts in the industry and economy have had a detrimental impact on those who perform labor for the studios.”
Drescher added that AMPTP’s responses to their proposals have “not been adequate.”
“Our ninety-year history is a testament to what can be achieved through our conviction and unity,” she concluded. “For the future of our profession, we stand together.”
Drescher added in an impassioned press conference Thursday, “What’s happening to us is happening across all fields of labor … [Execs] forget about the essential contributors that make the machine run and we are experiencing this right at this moment.”
“The gravity of this move is not lost on me,” she also said. “It’s a very serious thing that impacts thousands if not millions of people all around this country and around the world.”
Drescher concluded, “We demand respect … because you cannot exist without us.”
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The New Yorker exposed some of the cracks in the industry, writing in a report Wednesday how some of the actors on Netflix’s hit show “Orange Is The New Black” had to take up second jobs just to be able to pay their bills.
Beth Dover, who played a manager in the series, told the magazine, “It actually cost me money to be in Season 3 and 4 since I was cast local hire and had to fly myself out, etc.
“But I was so excited for the opportunity to be on a show I loved so I took the hit. It’s maddening.”
Hollywoods’ actors strike comes weeks after the more than 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) demanded increases in base pay and residuals for their work.
They also requested reassurance that they will not be replaced by artificial intelligence in the future, which film and TV studios reportedly declined to do.
The actors’ strike, however, holds special significance as it is the first time in 63 years that thespians have gone on strike.
According to the Associated Press, this is the first strike for actors from film and television shows since 1980. It’s also the first time “two major Hollywood unions have been on strike at the same time since 1960, when the Screen Actors Guild was reportedly upset over film residuals licensed or sold to TV.
The strike, which lasted from March 7 to April 18, halted production on movies starring Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe at the time, per the Los Angeles Times.
Economic damage is also expected as a result of the present-day actors’ battle. The strike is set to begin at midnight.
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