The actors were joined by some hip-hop legends on the picket lines this morning.
Kurtis Blow, co-founder of the Hip Hop Alliance, joined SAG-AFTRA outside Paramount to call an end to the strike that has lasted for over 100 days.
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He also highlighted how his membership of the guild was instrumental is helping to save his life after he had a heart transplant last year that was covered under SAG-AFTRA’s health plan.
“I am here supporting all the strikers, supporting SAG-AFTRA in this strike,” he told Deadline. “I think it’s very important that we show unity and solidarity. SAG-AFTRA is our partners, man. They are our partners in Hip Hop Alliance. We love them so much. As a matter of fact, the resources that we have available for all of our members is because SAG-AFTRA cares about people, especially the SAG-AFTRA health plan, which actually saved my life. I had a heart transplant, and the SAG-AFTRA health plan paid for all of it, over $8M, and I am here because of SAG-AFTRA. So, I thank you, I love you all. Please, let’s unite, let’s show solidarity, let’s stand strong, SAG-AFTRA strong baby.”
WHY I'M STRIKING: "I'm here supporting… I think it's very important that we show unity and solidarity… We need a fair deal…" – Kurtis Blow tells Deadline in Los Angeles today at the Hip Hop Alliance Day outside of Paramount Studios #SAGAFTRAStrong pic.twitter.com/pDaIiq6wZw
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) October 26, 2023
Blow had a successful heart transplant last December. He is widely considered the first commercially successful rapper and was the first to sign to a major record label, Mercury. His single Christmas Rappin’ sold over 400,000 copies.
(Fun fact: my father, Adam White, was the voice introducing Christmas Rappin’, which was later sampled on Public Enemy’s Night of the Living Bassheads – Peter)
Blow founded the Hip Hop Alliance last year with Public Enemy frontman Chuck D and Doug E. Fresh to fight for fair wages, fair royalties, and strong retirement and health benefits for artists in the hip hop and R&B community. It also struck an agreement with SAG-AFTRA earlier this year.
Blow added that SAG-AFTRA is fighting a similar fight to musicians. “It’s so very important to the future on this planet, the music that we make, so we are fighting for fair wages, royalties, and the streaming, which is so very important nowadays, everyone is into A.I and streaming, and we need a fair deal,” he added.
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