Several A-list celebrities have each donated $1 million to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
The American actors’ union SAG-AFTRA has been on strike for almost a month now. Many actors have been walking picket lines in the heat and organizing rallies. Meanwhile, some A-list celebrities have contributed monetary support.
Megastars such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, George and Amal Clooney, and Meryl Streep have each donated $1 million to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Fund. The fund offers financial support to actors who are struggling due to the strike.
Foundation president Courtney B. Vance credited Johnson’s contribution as a kick-starter to the campaign. He also commended Clooney and Streep for their help in rallying for more donations.
Other celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Nicole Kidman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have also donated to the large sum.
“I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line,” Streep said in a statement. “In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath.”
SAG-AFTRA’s president Fran Drescher told the New York City Council that 86% of the union’s 160,000 members make less than $26,500 a year. With the ongoing strike, the financial assistance program has received an influx of applications.
While A-list stars can make millions just from one project, the union wants to ensure that workaday members can also receive reasonable wages. The rise of streaming services and AI technology is making it harder for them to make a living.
It is unclear how long the actors’ strike will last. It’s expected to go on for at least a couple more weeks. For comparison, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have been on strike for over three months now.
Banner image via Wikimedia Commons.