After four weeks of negotiating a better deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), aka Hollywood’s biggest studios and streaming services, the Screen Actors Guild decided, this July 13, to officially call a strike. SAG president, beloved actress Fran Drescher, announced the board’s unanimous decision in an emotional yet forceful conference press.
While the board was still deciding whether to launch the strike, the European premiere of Oppenheimer was taking place in London. During the red carpet, many members of the A-list cast, including Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, and Matt Damon, showed their support for their Union and stated they were ready to leave the premiere and start striking.
SAG-AFTRA’s announcement came while the event was taking place, and as announced, the cast left the place ready to support the strike. While presenting his movie, Christopher Nolan commented on the matter: “I have to acknowledge the work of our incredible cast, led by Cillian Murphy. You’ve seen them here earlier on the red carpet. Unfortunately, they are off to write their picket signs for what we believe to be an imminent strike by SAG, joining one of my guilds, the Writers Guild, in the struggle for fair wages for working members of their union.”
— The Weekly Cut (@weeklycut) July 13, 2023
Immediate Consequences of the Actors’ Strike
The promotion of Oppenheimer, as we saw, is officially over, at least those involving the cast. As a matter of fact, Deadline reported that some members (affiliated with SAG-AFTRA) didn’t have dinner with the studio (Universal) as planned because of one SAG regulation on accepting studio hospitality during a strike. But Oppenheimer isn’t the only production affected.
With two of the most important guilds in Hollywood on strike, all television and movie productions in the US will be stopped, this also includes the promotion of finished products like Barbie and Oppenheimer. During the strike, actors cannot have public appearances at events, meaning that the few that were planned to appear at this month’s Comic-Con won’t be attending either (unless they go as fans).
Now, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s very likely that Barbie‘s London Premiere was also the last public promotion of the cast before the movie’s release. During the LA premiere, director Greta Gerwig declared that Noah Baumbach, co-writer of the movie, didn’t attend any of the events because “he is passionately supporting the fight of the Writers Guild of America. He is a Barbie girl. Nothing in ‘Barbie’ happened without him, and nothing in Hollywood happens without writers.” It wouldn’t be a surprise that Greta and the rest of the cast will also support immediately the actors’ strike. The same will likely happen with the promotion of upcoming films this Summer.
The production of Deadpool 3 has also stopped filming alongside other movies that were being done at the moment. Just last weekend, Hugh Jackman went viral after sharing the first images of Wolverine and Deadpool. Another immediate action is that no more actors can be added to the cast of Superman Legacy; knowing what was coming, it’s probable that James Gunn announced the lead couple before they couldn’t do anything else with the project.
More terrible consequences will appear in the upcoming days, but this strike will likely last a lot. The writers’ strike has been going on for over 70 days. Hopefully, having both unions on strike will push Hollywood’s studios to agree to both guilds’ rightful demands.