Hollywood’s top actors, including George Clooney, Tyler Perry, Scarlett Johansson and Ben Affleck talk pledge to pump $150million to actors’ union to help end the strike
- Clooney made the offer to SAG-AFTRA along with Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson , Tyler Perry and Ben Affleck
- The stars proposed scrapping the cap on membership fees which would see them put in an additional $50 million per year
- They also suggested a formula to ensure junior cast members are paid first when it comes to residual income from re-runs or streaming
Hollywood’s top actors, including the likes of George Clooney and Emma Stone, have offered to pump $150 million over three years to improve benefits for actors and help end the ongoing strike.
The stars were among a quorum of Hollywood’s biggest names such as Scarlett Johansson, Tyler Perry and Ben Affleck, who met with leaders of SAG-AFTRA on Tuesday to outline the plans.
They proposed scrapping the cap on membership dues, meaning they would pay an additional $50 million per year, which could be used to fund better health and other benefits the union is working to secure.
‘A lot of the top earners want to be part of the solution,’ Clooney told Deadline.
‘We’ve offered to remove the cap on dues, which would bring over $50 million to the union annually. Well over $150 million over the next three years. We think it’s fair for us to pay more into the union.’
George Clooney was among a group of Hollywood’s top actors who offered to inject an extra $150 million over three years into the SAG-AFTRA union as a means of ending the strike and help pay for benefits for actors
The offer was reportedly made to SAG leaders Fran Drescher (left) and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who took it to the negotiating committee
The stars also suggested a formula which would see the most junior members on call sheets paid most for any residual fees through streaming.
Residuals are checks actors and writers receive in the event a TV show or film they worked with is rebroadcast.
They have dwindled significantly since the advent of streaming, with studios technically still paying fees but under a different system, which means the money is much less.
‘We also are suggesting a bottom-up residual structure — meaning the top of the call sheet would be the last to collect residuals, not the first,’ Clooney added.
‘These negotiations will be ongoing, but we wanted to show that we’re all in this together and find ways to help close the gap on actors getting paid.’
But not all union members have reacted positively to the proposals.
Julie Benson, who has written for Star Trek and He-Man, said: ‘If the A-listers really want to help, maybe they could supply a food trucks to the picket lines (thanks to the Showrunners who continue to supply), or better yet, show up and picket for their union. Glad they’re trying to do something, but take the fight to the studios where it belongs.’
The stars want to scrap the SAG-AFTRA cap on membership fees so that big earners would pay in more and the money could be used to secure better health and other benefits the union is seeking
The actors have suggested a formula which would see the most junior cast members paid first when it comes to any residual payments earned as a result of TV or movies being streamed
Chicago Fire and Fresh of the Boat actor Mike Pusateri backed Benson: ‘I agree with this 10,000,000 percent.
‘If the A-listers really want to help us and them, they can get their asses to a picket line! We’d get the deal we deserve and our strike would be over by Halloween.’
The offer was reportedly made to SAG leaders Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who took it to the negotiating committee last night.
It comes as the strike looks set to drag on past the 100 day mark, with SAG-AFTRA locked in a stalemate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
It is hoped the offer of a cash injection will re-stimulate negotiations, after the studios walked away from discussions earlier this month.
The strike looks set to drag on past the 100 day mark , with SAG-AFTRA locked in a stalemate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
Actors Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco walk among the SAG AFTRA members at the picket line outside of Warner Brothers in Burbank, California, on October 3
Studio bosses said the $800 million more per year SAG-AFTRA proposal was seeking meant ‘the gap is too great’.
Experts have now warned that Christmas TV and movie projects for this year could be in jeopardy.
Entertainment reporter Stephanie Aly told the BBC the projects likely cannot be ‘salvaged’ in time for the holiday period.
She said: ‘There was hope that if they could get the actors back from the strike by the end of this month then we might be able to salvage some of the 2023/2024 television season as well as some upcoming movie releases.
‘But now with the studios walking away from negotiations, it’s looking like we might not be able to salvage any of the television season and 2024 releases may end up being pushed to 2025.’
Actors who have been seen out on the picket lines include Jessica Chastain, Jack Black, Jennifer Coolidge and Edward James Olmos, among others.
But actress and TV show host Drew Barrymore was recently criticized for announcing her program would return prior to the writers strike ending.
She quickly performed a U-turn on the decision, with her writers then declining to return.
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