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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Actors’ strike. Hollywood stars offered $150 million in support

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Actor George Clooney and other top Hollywood stars have offered $150 million to the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA. All this to end the actors’ strike, which has been ongoing for a hundred days and is paralyzing the entertainment industry. The president of the union has already commented on the proposal.

American film and television writers walked off the job in May this year after failing to reach agreements with major studios such as Netflix, Walt Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery. The Hollywood Writers Guild voted in favor in late September ending the strike.

The actors maintain their protest. The SAG-AFTRA union represents 160,000 actors, from supporting to Hollywood stars. In the union’s letter to members, SAG-AFTRA leaders said the industry has changed dramatically. This is related to the development of streaming television and the emergence of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

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Generous offer of A-listers

As described by Deadline magazine, on Tuesday, via Zoom, a group of fifteen movie stars, including George Clooney, Emma Stone, Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry and Scarlett Johansson, met with representatives of the SAG-AFTRA union. Their offer was to cover the costs incurred by the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) signatories by waiving the cap on membership fees of $1 million to the union and contributing a total of $150 million over three years.

– Many of the highest paid actors want to be part of the solution, Clooney said. – We have proposed eliminating the cap on dues, which would bring the union more than $50 million in a year, or more than $150 million over the next three years. We think it’s fair that we pay more to the union, he added.

Clooney explained that the actors “wanted to show that everyone is in this together and want to find ways to help close the actor pay gap.”

The proposal “has no impact” on the strike

After Tuesday’s online meeting, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and union executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland met with the union’s bargaining committee to discuss the movie stars’ proposal.

Variety magazine, citing its sources, reported that the negotiations “did not go very well” and the negotiating committee “did not see the merits” of the proposal. Actress and SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher took to Instagram to thank the actors for their generous offer, but said the offer would have no impact on the strike.

On Friday, a crowd of protesters gathered in Los Angeles to mark the actors’ 100 days of protest. One of the banners read: “A-listers (top-rated Hollywood actors – ed.), thank you for the offer, but we would prefer you to join the picketing cordon.”

Protesters as part of a strike by actors affiliated with the SAG-AFTRA unionPAP/EPA/CAROLINE BREHMAN

Deadline, Reuters, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter

Main photo source: Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

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