Kerry Washington, Ryan Reynolds and More Stars Speak Out to Support IATSE Ahead of Potential Strike

Kerry Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Lucy Hale, Ben Stiller and more actors are advocating for better treatment of costume designers, cinematographers and more on-set workers.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 23, 2021 2:52 AMTags
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Hollywood A-listers are assembling to fight on behalf of crew members, who become "like family" while bringing their TV shows and films to life.

Kerry Washington, Mandy Moore, Joshua Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Susan Sarandon and more stars are speaking out in support of IATSE. Known as "The Union Behind Entertainment," the organization is seeking better conditions for 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers in theater, TV and film productions, ranging from cinematographers to costume designers.

IATSE said it has spent months negotiating contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), but announced on Sept. 21 that the producer group "does not intend to make any counteroffer" to IATSE's recent proposal. In a press release posted to social media, IATSE said the AMPTP has "failed to work with us" on addressing the "most grievous" problems in their workplaces.

The union is calling for change when it comes to excessively unsafe and harmful working hours; unlivable wages for the lowest paid crafts; "consistent failure" to provide reasonable rest during meal breaks, weekends and more; and workers on some streaming projects getting paid less than those on traditional blockbusters, even on productions with bigger budgets. 

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"It is incomprehensible that the AMPTP, an ensemble that includes media mega-corporations collectively worth trillions of dollars, claims it cannot provide behind-the-scenes crews with basic human necessities like adequate sleep, meal breaks, and living wages," the group wrote. 

IATSE members are mobilizing in preparation for a nationwide strike authorization vote, which would "demonstrate our commitment to achieving the change that is long overdue in this industry."

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Now, stars are sticking up for their friends that work behind the camera.

"There are so many talented humans who make the movies and TV shows we love!" Washington tweeted on Sept. 21. "You may not see them on screen but they are the magic makers and the glue that holds any set together." She said stands "with my brothers & sisters" in a potential future strike.

Ben Stiller explained, "I just spent 9 months working with an incredibly hard working crew of film makers through very challenging conditions. Totally support them in fighting for better conditions." 

Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen shared the IATSE logo along with the statement, "Our films and movies literally would not exist without our crews, and our crews deserve better." 

Grace and Frankie co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin even wore T-shirts reading "IASolidarity" while posing with their firsts raised to lend their voices to the movement. 

Lucy Hale also said she proudly stands with thousands of behind-the-scenes workers "who are the glue that keeps our industry together." The Pretty Little Liars actress shared, "They deserve rest, recovery, better working conditions and our support. Because of them, we have the entertainment that has gotten us through the worst and best of times." 

She advocated on behalf of the crew members that have "become close friends & some like family" to her. "They are there long before any actor steps foot on a set and hours after we wrap," Hale went on. "They've wiped away my tears & have been pillars of strength throughout my career. They've advocated for me. They've supported me and I promise to do the same for them." 

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Francia Raisa added that crew members are "some of the hardest working people I know," saying they "deserve to be paid fairly" for all their contributions on TV and movie sets.

Future Snow White star Rachel Zegler told her fans that "none of the beauty of our film would be possible without the tireless efforts of our incredible crew" on Steven Spielberg'West Side Story. She declared, "crews work harder than anyone in the business, and deserve the best treatment."

Actors Mae Whitman, Cynthia NixonJameela JamilAuli'i Cravalho, Jaimie Alexander, Stephanie BeatrizChloe Bennet and Karen Gillan have also joined the chorus of activist voices.

E! News has reached out to IATSE and AMPTP for additional comment.