Meryl Streep and George Clooney Lead Donation Campaign for Striking Actors

Hollywood actors have now been on strike for almost three weeks. They’ve walked picket traces in broiling warmth, orchestrated noisy rallies and flooded social media with cris de coeur. Harrison Ford’s stunt double lit himself on fireplace (safely) at a protest in Georgia. The president of the actors’ union, Fran Drescher, on Tuesday spoke about “greed-driven” studios at a New York Metropolis Council assembly.

However some individuals have been puzzled about one lacking component. As Selection, the leisure commerce journal, put it in a July 24 headline, “Why Haven’t A-List Stars Joined the SAG-AFTRA Picket Line?”

Because it seems, some megastars — Meryl Streep and George Clooney, particularly — have contributed another way.

The SAG-AFTRA Basis, a charity that gives monetary help to workaday performers, stated on Wednesday that Ms. Streep and Mr. Clooney had helped lead a donation marketing campaign that had raised greater than $15 million over the past three weeks. The pair every gave $1 million after which began to foyer Hollywood’s different top-earning stars for contributions. A Google Doc was created to maintain monitor of who was leaning on whom.

Eight extra stars (Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey) gave $1 million or extra, together with two star {couples}: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Full of life.

“I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line,” Ms. Streep stated in a press release. “In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath.”

Mr. Clooney added, “We’ve stood on the shoulders of the likes of Bette Davis and Jimmy Cagney, and it’s time for our generation to give something back.”

Mr. Johnson’s contribution was disclosed by Courtney B. Vance, president of the SAG-AFTRA Basis, late final month. Nonetheless identified to some followers because the Rock, Mr. Johnson had responded to an attraction by Mr. Vance to high-earning actors in the beginning of the strike. The ensuing publicity was useful in garnering assist for the Streep-Clooney marketing campaign, based on a spokeswoman for the 38-year-old SAG-AFTRA Basis, which is related to the actors’ union however run independently.

Some actors are extremely compensated, however Ms. Drescher advised the New York Metropolis Council that 86 % of the union’s 160,000 members make lower than $26,500 a yr. Mr. Vance stated the inspiration’s monetary help program “is currently processing more than 30 times our usual number of applications for emergency aid.”

“We received 400 applications in the last week alone,” he stated.

Some huge stars have been seen on picket traces, together with Lupita Nyong’o, Colin Farrell, Jane Fonda, Awkwafina and Brendan Fraser, the reigning Oscar winner for greatest actor. However star energy can reduce each methods; the strike is about pay minimums, and protests by elite actors may muddy the message. There’s additionally the difficulty of safety and the likelihood that swarms of followers may descend.

It’s unclear how lengthy the actors’ strike will final — screenwriters are additionally on strike — however most individuals in Hollywood count on it to proceed for a number of extra weeks, at a minimal. SAG-AFTRA final went on strike in 1980.

The actors’ union has stated it’s attempting to make sure affordable wages for workaday members, particularly these making films or TV reveals for streaming companies. Actors additionally fear that synthetic intelligence expertise could possibly be used to create digital replicas of their likenesses (or that performances could possibly be digitally altered) with out cost or approval.

The Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers, which bargains on behalf of Hollywood firms, has stated it stays dedicated to reaching a good deal at a troublesome time for an business upended by the streaming revolution, which the pandemic sped up.

“The union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry,” the alliance stated in a information launch when actors walked out.

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