More than 3,600 Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) members signed an open letter declaring that they would rather go on strike than “cave” to a bad deal. The group, calling itself Members in Solidarity, includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jon Hamm, Maya Hawke, Marisa Tomei, John Leguizamo and Bryan Cranston, among many other notable names.
Furthermore the letter expresses support for the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee and emphasizes that it represents the majority of those “still in solidarity, ready to strike as long as necessary and to endure whatever it takes to win an agreement worthy of our collective sacrifice.”
SAG-AFTRA has been on strike for 105 days, shutting down almost all scripted film and TV production in North America.
“We have not come all this way to cave now,” the letter states.
“We have not gone without work, without pay and walked picket lines for months just to give up on everything we’ve been fighting for. We cannot and will not accept a contract that fails to address the vital and existential problems that we all need fixed.”
The letter came at a critical point of the strike
According to Variety, the letter came at a critical point in the strike, when many members were becoming restless.
Last week, George Clooney led a group of A-listers in an effort to present guild leadership with alternate proposals that they hoped might help break the stalemate. Fran Drescher, the president of the union, rebuffed that offer, saying the ideas violated labor law and didn’t “hold water.”
Since then there has been further rumbling of discontent, as many members are eager to return to work.
The letter alludes to that, saying “In any union, there will always be a minority who are not willing to make temporary sacrifices for the greater good.”
Among the signers is Gabrielle Carteris, who preceded Fran Drescher as president of the union.
The major studios returned to the bargaining table on Tuesday with a new offer. SAG-AFTRA’s negotiators took Wednesday to study it and delivered their response on Thursday.
The two sides remain at odds on a large number of issues and time is running out for the industry to salvage the 2023-24 TV season and the 2024 summer box Office.
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