- The SAG-AFTRA actors’ union went on strike Friday, joining the ongoing WGA writers’ strike.
- You can support actors and writers on strike by donating to the hardship funds that help entertainment workers.
- Streaming TV shows or going to a movie at the theater is not considered crossing the picket line.
Actors in Hollywood’s SAG-AFTRA union went on strike on Friday, joining thousands of writers who have been striking since May — here’s how you can support these workers as they pause their careers to protest over pay, the threat of AI, and other issues.
One of the most impactful things an average person can do to support both SAG-AFTRA actors and WGA writers, who are striking against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (which represents the Hollywood companies) is donating to help them make ends meet during the labor action.
Members of the unions can’t keep working while on strike, so the organizations have funds to help provide struggling actors and writers with financial assistance.
SAG-AFTRA links to an Emergency Financial Assistance and Disaster Relief Fund on its website, while WGA has Good and Welfare Emergency Assistance Loans for its writers. The Entertainment Community Fund is also helping assist those on strike.
WGA member Adam Conover told The Washington Post that supporters can also post on social media to voice support for members of both unions on strike.
Neither union has called on supporters to stop streaming their favorite shows or going to movie theaters — they don’t consider such commonplace activities to be crossing the picket line, the Washington Post reported.
The actors union has said, however, that it considers a content creator or up-and-coming actor taking a job that would normally be filled by a union member to be crossing the picket line.
And if they do fill those roles, it may come back to bite them in the future.
“Any non-member seeking future membership in SAG-AFTRA who performs covered services for a struck company during the strike will not be admitted into membership in SAG-AFTRA,” the union’s strike notice outlines.
There are also special guidelines for social-media influencers, who’ve become increasingly important to Hollywood marketing campaigns.
While the writers’ strike largely shut down development and production, especially in Los Angeles and New York, some film and TV shoots were able to continue. Without actors, even those sets have gone dark, and stars are no longer promoting their projects on red carpets or in morning show interviews.
This weekend’s “Barbenheimer” showdown, debuting both Mattel-driven “Barbie” — which saw a Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling lead a massive marketing blitz ahead of the actors’ walkout — and historical pic “Oppenheimer,” has Hollywood on edge over box office results, as totals this summer have lagged 2022 numbers.
SAG-AFTRA and the WGA share many concerns — including dwindling residual payments in the streaming age and the threat of AI — but thay also have separate demands.
While some industry observers hope the dual strike action may put pressure on the AMPTP to hasten a resolution. Others have said the sides are so far apart that this work stoppage could outlast the 100-day WGA strike of 2007-8, which cost the California economy roughly $2 billion.