During a strike, the actors stick together. A dozen of Hollywood’s most famous and wealthy stars, from George Clooney to Meryl Streep, have each donated $1 million or more to support striking American actors, their union’s solidarity fund said Wednesday.
In the wake of the scriptwriters’ social movement that began in early May, the actors in turn went on strike in mid-July to demand better pay and guarantees regarding the use of artificial intelligence. With this double social movement, unprecedented since 1960, almost all film and series productions are at a standstill in the United States.
The foundation raised a total of 13.7 million euros
In addition to George Clooney and Meryl Streep, other celebrities such as Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts or Oprah Winfrey have each contributed $1 million (the equivalent of 920,000 euros) or more to the fund. Actors Guild Support (SAG-AFTRA).
The foundation that manages this fund said in a press release that it had raised a total of more than 15 million dollars (13.7 million euros) over the past three weeks, intended for thousands of “day-to-day actors” in financial difficulty due to lack of filming. “The entertainment industry is in crisis and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is currently processing 30 times more requests for emergency assistance than usual,” said the statement from the president of this non-profit foundation, Courtney Vance.
This assistance aims to ensure that “actors in need do not lose their homes, can pay their expenses, buy food for their families, obtain life-saving medicines, pay their doctor’s bills and much more” , he adds.
While some actors are extremely well paid, 86% of the union’s 160,000 members earn less than $26,500 (24,000 euros) a year, according to figures given by SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, quoted by the New York Times. .