Members of the Screen Actor’s Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have been campaigning for better pay and other improvements since July 14. Actors are now calling for an 11 per cent pay rise, among other demands linked to the use of AI and streaming.
The union, which represents around 160,000 actors, has paralysed a large amount of production and filming. They joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who had previously walked out on May 2.
More than two months into the industrial action, the stalemate shows no signs of letting up. Instead, strikes appear to continue across studios in the US and overseas.
Hundreds of prominent faces have been spotted showing their support for the SAG-AFTRA strikes. Most recently, Barbie star Margot Robbie was spotted at a SAG-AFTRA march with a placard.
So let’s take a look at which well-known faces we’ve seen on the front lines in the past two months and what they’ve said about the strikes.
Barbie star Margot Robbie marched from Netflix studios to Paramount Pictures during a SAG-AFTRA strike this week. Wearing a union T-shirt and carrying a sign in support of the union action, she appeared in high spirits as she joined other protestors on Tuesday.
Robbie had previously told Sky News at a Barbie premiere that she would “absolutely stand by” a strike. Margot has just finished promoting her latest movie, in which the star is reported to have received a salary of £40 million.
Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston didn’t just march in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA strikers in July, he also shared a powerful speech with the audience.
“We are not in the same business model that we were even 10 years ago,” Cranston said to the crowd. “And yet, even though they admit that that is the truth in today’s economy, they are fighting us tooth and nail to stick to the same economic system that is outmoded, outdated. They want us to step back in time. We cannot and we will not do that.”
In August, actor Florence Pugh was spotted marching in solidarity with protestors carrying a placard that read: “Grrrrrrr!!! This is bullsh**!”
The Oppenheimer star showed off her punk-rock pixie hair and paired her look with a white dress as she walked alongside hundreds of others.
Previously speaking about the strikes, Pugh said: “It’s been a really, really tense few days for a lot of people, not just actors, but everybody in the industry who are going to be affected by this decision, but affected by a decision that is necessary.”
Jessica Chastain has been spotted at protests and also recently wore a SAG-AFTRA strike T-shirt while attending the Venice Film Festival.
“I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m aware that my career provides me with a good living, gives me health insurance, helps me take care of my family,” she also wrote on social media.
“There are many members of SAG/AFTRA who are fighting to make a living wage. 87% of my union doesn’t make the 26k a year in order to receive health insurance. It is our responsibility to stand alongside them. We are united and we demand fair contracts. #sagaftrastrong.”
📰 | jason sudeikis on the sag-aftra and wga strike to cnn: “listen to the voices of strikers chanting things like, ‘hey hey, ho ho corporate greed’s got to go’ and ‘what do we want? contracts. when do we want ‘em? now!’ that says it all.” pic.twitter.com/7qXEHwvy3M
— Jason Sudeikis Updates (@SudeikisNews) July 14, 2023
Jason Sudeikis was one of many well-known stars who took to the picket line in July. When asked how long he’d be happy to support the strike action, he responded “as long as it takes”.
Kevin Bacon shared his support by joining activists in New York while carrying a placard emblazoned with the words: “SAG-AFTRA ON STRIKE!”.
The actor has also shared his thoughts on why he believed it was important to stand in solidarity with others on strike.
“In terms of the rich actors, a very small percentage of our union is doing very, very well,” he said on TODAY. “Most of the people are living hand-to-mouth. Those are the people that we are striking for. My situation is not the same as the majority of our union.”
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 17, 2023
Hilary Duff seemed in a cheerful mood when she joined the strikes back in July. The actor and musician even sang one of her songs “What Dreams Are Made Of,” for the crowd.
Sharing a caption about it later, Duff added on social media: “Out there with my @himyfonhulu crew. We stand with our union! Let’s gooooooo.”
Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk also joined protestors in the first week of the SAG-AFTRA strikes. He told a reporter at the time: “Don’t! It’s a strike. Be on strike. Sometimes you have to do the hard thing.”
In another clip, Odenkirk added: “We have to do this now and we have to do this right so we don’t have to do this for another 20 years.”
You and Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley was spotted in New York at SAG-AFTRA strikes earlier in September. Badgley sported a SAG-AFTRA T-shirt and carried a placard in support.
Elliot Page also joined the strike action across several days in New York alongside Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Peppermint. Page and Peppermint can be seen joining in on chants while carrying signs through the city.
— sarah’s pr (@sarahpaulsbean) July 25, 2023
American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson also joined the picket line outside the Netflix offices, joining others carrying signs in support of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller
Sandler and Stiller donned black SAG-AFTRA T-shirts and joined the union strike at NBCUniversal in August.
David Harbour at a SAG-AFTRA strike today. https://t.co/mmx27zSq5a
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 31, 2023
Stranger Things star David Harbour proudly carried a placard and wore a SAG-AFTRA T-shirt at another march at the end of July in Greenwich City.
The Charlie’s Angels star stepped out in New York to support strike action at the end of July.
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) August 1, 2023
At the start of August, actor and comedian Seth Rogen was pictured giving a thumbs-up at a march in Los Angeles.
Kerry Washington was one of several well-known stars that shared their support through speeches at the gatherings.
“It is not about one person, one-for-one. It’s about one-for-ALL. That we are here for EACH OTHER,” she told the crowd, in support of the strike action.
Christian Slater explains how his late father lived off of union pensions: “Because of SAG, because of real people who worked to help our members, my father was able to die with an amount of dignity that he would not have otherwise had. He lived as long as he did because of SAG.” pic.twitter.com/Du9JA2ScoP
— Variety (@Variety) July 25, 2023
Christian Slater, who had also stepped out to support strike action, used his time on the podium to talk about his late father and how he was supported by the SAG union.
“Because of SAG, because of real people who worked to help our members, my father was able to die with an amount of dignity that he would not have otherwise had. He lived as long as he did because of SAG,” Slater said.
"I'm here to support the WGA and SAG and the Animation Guild... We have to win"- Stephen Colbert tells Deadline at the WGA animation rally in NYC today #WritersStrike #SAGAFTRAStrike pic.twitter.com/JqY4i4tXmc
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 25, 2023
Late night, talk-show host Stephen Colbert said he supported the union’s goals and said that they had to win.
Hellboy and Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman also shared a supportive video and urged others who might be struggling to contact him on social media.
He said to the camera: “We gotta stay together, and we gotta realise that what we’re asking for is simple — American decency.”