Fran Drescher, the president of the actors union, gave a huge rant.
It was inevitable, after a failed agreement between the Actors Union (SAG-AFTRA) and AMPTP, the trade association that represents more than 350 American television and film production companies. Since Thursday evening, Hollywood actors and actresses have been on strike, along with the screenwriters who started their movement on May 2, 2023. It hadn’t happened since 1963!
Like the authors, the actors are demanding better salaries, and protection against the development of artificial intelligence. The studios, for example, wanted to be able to scan an actor for the equivalent of a day’s pay and then use his image without additional compensation. An unacceptable situation for the profession.
Actress Fran Drescher (A nanny from hell), president of SAG-AFTRA, let out a huge rant that caused a stir on social networks: “How can they play the poverty card and say they’re losing money right and left when their president gets $100 million. If we don’t stand up now, we’ll all be put in jeopardy or replaced by machines“.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher: “How they plead poverty that they are losing money left and right when they give $100 million to their CEOs.”
“If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines” pic.twitter.com/zIIsNQjZHa
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 13, 2023
If the screenwriters’ strike was already disrupting the production of films and series, with that of the actors, it has gone to a whole new level. All filming involving unionized actors (and there are 160,000 of them!) is of course put on hold. But that’s not all. variety made the list of prohibitions, it is as long as an arm and will also impact films already shot and ready to be released.
Actors no longer have the right to act, dance, sing, do stunts, dubbing or even film in motion capture. All promotional work is also banned: interviews, podcasts, red carpets, posts on social networks, festivals and other award ceremonies. Thursday evening, the actors ofOppenheimer thus left the London premiere of the film when the strike was declared.
Just before, Matt Damonone of the film’s stars, supported the strike on the red carpet: “If our management says the deal isn’t fair, then we have to hold on until we find a fair deal for the actors.“.
#Oppenheimer star Matt Damon on SAG-AFTRA going on strike: “If our leadership is saying that the deal isn’t fair, then we gotta hold strong until we get a deal that’s fair for working actors. It’s the difference between having healthcare and not for a lot of actors, and we gotta… pic.twitter.com/wPjEKn9iSe
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 14, 2023
Concretely, the San Diego Comic-Con, scheduled for July 20 to 23, will have to cancel most of its panels. And the two major back-to-school festivals, Toronto and Venice, will be deprived of American stars. Finally, Oppenheimer And Barbie were able to complete their promotion just in time, but the next films of the summer will not be able to count on their actors for their promotion. Will some studios outright postpone their films under these conditions?
The dialogue is currently at a standstill between the actors and the studios. Bob Iger, the president of Disney who will now receive 31 million dollars a year with his new contract, declared Thursday that the demands of the strikers were “not realistic“:
“I find that very disturbing. Our industry is facing disruptive forces and many challenges, like the recovery from COVID, which is still ongoing, it’s not fully back. It’s the worst time in the world to do this“.
There remains a glimmer of hope. The actors’ strike is bringing the industry to a standstill so much that studios could be forced to let go quickly. To be continued…