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Jennifer Lawrence among high-profile actors ready to strike in open letter to Screen Actors Guild

Jennifer joins forces with Amy Schumer and Meryl Streep

Jennifer Lawrence among high-profile actors ready to strike in open letter to Screen Actors Guild
Faye James
Senior Editor
28 June 2023
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Earlier this month, the Screen Actors Guild's (SAG) members collectively voted to greenlight a strike should their negotiation committee fail to establish a new contract with Hollywood's major studios by June 30. 

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher addressed the union members with an update, emphasizing that the negotiations were extremely productive, and are "laser-focused on all of the crucial issues you told us are most important to you."

However, this message was met with significant pushback from numerous actors who are encouraging the SAG not to compromise on a deal that doesn't fully meet their needs. An open letter addressed to SAG-AFTRA Leadership and Negotiating Committee, signed by over 300 actors, including Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Amy Schumer, circulated, allegedly making its way to the SAG leadership.

jennifer lawrence gold dress red carpet hunger games 2012© Getty
Jennifer Lawrence has signed open letter to SAG

The letter, obtained by Rolling Stone, voiced concerns that "SAG-AFTRA members may be ready to make sacrifices that leadership is not." The signatories asserted, "This is an unprecedented inflection point in our industry, and what might be considered a good deal in any other years is simply not enough."

The letter indicated that the signatories felt undermined in terms of wages, craft, creative freedom, and union power over the last decade. They called for a reversal of these trends and boldly declared their readiness to strike, even though they recognize the immense hardship it would cause. 

MORE: Jennifer Lawrence on why she couldn't take acting break after son Cy's birth

Amy Schumer attends the premiere of STX Films' "I Feel Pretty" at Westwood Village Theatre on April 17, 2018 in Westwood, California.
Amy Schumer has also signed the letter to SAG

In their list of concerns, they brought up essential issues such as minimum pay, residuals that consider streaming growth, healthcare, pensions, and regulations around self-tapes in casting.

Furthermore, the letter highlighted a significant concern around the use of artificial intelligence (AI). 

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meryl streep
Meryl Streep has also signed the letter

The actors stated: "We do not believe that SAG-AFTRA members can afford to make halfway gains in anticipation that more will be coming in three years, and we think it is absolutely vital that this negotiation protects not just our likenesses, but makes sure we are well compensated when any of our work is used to train AI.”

They emphasized their readiness to strike rather than compromise on these critical points. They conveyed that any deal less than transformative would undermine their craft's future and reduce SAG-AFTRA's leverage significantly in future negotiations.

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Seth Myers addressed the Hollywood writers strike on Late Night

The letter drew parallels with the Writers Guild of America's strike back in May, after their failed negotiations with Hollywood studios. 

The actors urged the SAG leadership to seize this critical moment and push for necessary change. They wrote: "If you are not able to get all the way there, we ask that you use the power given to you by us, the membership, and join the WGA on the picket lines.”

The WGA strike is ongoing and TV and film shoots have been at a standstill since it began. 

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