SAG-AFTRA strike: what have Hollywood stars from Margot Robbie to Matt Damon said about historic strike?
Barbie star Margot Robbie and Oppenheimer’s Matt Damon voice support for biggest actors’ strike in 40 years
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The strike has halted production on many big budget shows and films - Deadpool 3, which began filming in the UK on Monday, has been left in limbo when its main stars, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman joined the strike.
Among the other projects now expected to be delayed are Strangers Things season 5, The Last of Us Season 2, Mission Impossible 8, and Avatar 4. The total financial loss expected to be caused by the joint SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes has been estimated at $4 billion.
The strike, which has been called over concerns about low residual payments in the streaming age, and concern about the role of artificial intelligence in the film industry among other factors, marks the first time that SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have been on strike together since 1960.
The historic industrial action will impact film and TV releases several years from now if an agreement with the studios is not reached quickly. As roughly 160,000 unionised actors join the picket lines, many well known film and TV icons have shared their support for the strike.
This is what some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have said about the strike:
What have Hollywood actors said about the SAG-AFTRA strike?
Ahead of the strike being called, Barbie actress Margot Robbie said “I'm very much in support of all the unions and I'm a member of SAG so I would absolutely stand by that.”
One of Hollywood’s best known stars, George Clooney, shared staunch support for the action - in a statement he said: “This is an inflection point in our industry. For our industry to survive that has to change. For actors, that journey starts now. Actors and writers in large numbers have lost their ability to make a living.”
The main cast of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, an upcoming historical biopic, jointly made a strong statement when they walked off the red carpet event at the film’s UK premiere when the strike was called at midnight on Friday.
Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, and Robert Downey Jr. were among the film’s main stars that walked out in solidarity with the strike.
Speaking about the reasons for the strike, Damon discussed the difficulties that lower paid actors face in the industry. He said “We go a long time between jobs and people want to work but sometimes they can't get a job. It can be the difference between having health care and not having health care. So we got to do what's right by them, and we're absolutely in solidarity with them, and hopefully we'll reach a fair deal.”
Interstellar and The Good Nurse star Jessica Chastain voiced her support for the strike tweeting: “The AMPTP refused to make a fair deal on television, theatrical and streaming work. We are not afraid of a fight and we will not back down. My union, SAG/AFTRA is now on strike.”
Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk also took to Twitter to celebrate the strike - sharing a video of SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, he wrote: “Holy Cow. Go Fran Go! This was a powerful statement. I stand with Fran and everyone in SAG and WGA in this extended moment...onwards.”
Harrison Ford, whose latest movie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in now in cinemas, has seen the second season of western drama 1923 delayed. He said in late June: “I believe in unions. I believe in labour. I believe in representation, all of those things. If my union votes to go out, I’ll go out.”