Margot Robbie, Matt Damon and More Stars Speak Out as SAG-AFTRA Goes on Strike

SAG-AFTRA will be going on strike at midnight July 14 after failed negotiations with the AMPTP, joining the WGA on the picket line. Here's what stars are saying about the strike.

By Gabrielle Chung Jul 13, 2023 9:36 PMTags
Watch: Breaking Down the 2023 Actor and Writer Strikes

Hollywood is striking back—literally.

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) will be joining the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on the picket line at midnight July 14 after failing to agree on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher announced plans to strike on July 13, after the union voted unanimously to recommend the actors to strike against the film and television studios. This will be the first time the union has gone on strike since 1980. 

"It came with great sadness that we came to this crossroads, but we have no choice," she said at a press conference. "We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a greedy entity."

The Nanny actress also told reporters that the union—which failed to reach an agreement with AMPTP when their contract expired on July 12—went into negotiations "in earnest, thinking we would avert a strike."

"At some point, the jig is up," she continued. "You cannot keep being dwindled and marginalized and disrespected and dishonored."

Drescher noted that "the gravity of this move is not lost on me," adding, "But at some point, you have to say no. We're not going to take this anymore."

All the TV Shows Impacted By the WGA & SAG-AFTRA Strikes 2023

In response to SAG-AFTRA's decision to strike, AMPTP issued a statement reading, "A strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life. The Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry."

As the picket line widens, many stars spoke out to voice their support for a strike. In fact, some have already began making moves, with the cast of Oppenheimer—including Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy and Matt Damonleaving the U.K. premiere after their red carpet arrival in order to strike.

"Unfortunately, they're off to write their picket signs," director Christopher Nolan told the audience, as seen in video circulating on social media. "We support them."

For more celeb reactions to the strike, keep reading.

Matt Damon

"No one wants a work stoppage, but if leadership is saying the deal isn't fair then we gotta hold strong until we get a deal that's fair for working actors," he told Deadline. "It's the difference between having healthcare and not for a lot of actors and we gotta do what's right by them."

Jamie Lee Curtis

"The @sagaftra symbol used to be the masks of the actors face," she wrote on Instagram. "REPRESENTING the EXPRESSIONS. The EMOTIONS. The FEELINGS generated by the WORDS of their UNION MEMBERS! Union contracts PROTECT our SAFETY and EXPLOITATION! We are UNION STRONG!"

Issa Rae

"Well, everything is f--ked," she said on her Instagram Story.

Margot Robbie

"I'm very much in support of all the unions," she told Sky News. "I'm a part of SAG so I would absolutely stand by that."

Daniel Radcliffe

"I am one of the very, very lucky and rare actors that has a strong position to negotiate from when I work," he told Vanity Fair. "That is not the experience of most people, and I do think both the actors and writers who are currently striking, nobody wants these things to happen—but I think they're incredibly necessary for the way the industry is going."

Yvette Nicole Brown

"It's official @sagaftra has voted to strike," she tweeted. "We will be joining the WGA on the picket lines starting tomorrow. We all got together last week to create our signs. I was on sticks! When you're out there without a splinter thanks to the duct tape, think of ya girl! #UnionStrong."

Josh Gad

"The LA styrofoam and cardboard industry is about to have an even busier summer," he tweeted. "Let's do this thing. #SAGAFTRAstrong."

Cynthia Nixon

"The @sagaftra strike has at last arrived," she tweeted. "I am proud to be standing tall with the @WGAWest and @WGAEast as actors and writers together demand a fair share of the record-breaking profits the studios have been reaping from our labor for far too long. We will win this!

Devon Sawa

"We're on strike," he tweeted. "Just a heads up, this isn't a party. A lot of us don't want to be on a strike, we are doing it for a reason. If you're going down to the picket line just to meet and greet and get a couple cool pics for the gram, you ain't us."

Sheryl Lee Ralph

"Strikes are very difficult," she told Vanity Fair. "Nobody wants to be in strike mode, but sometimes you have got to do what needs to be done. And I know as difficult as it is, people have to remember if real workers did not come together and organize, none of us would have a weekend."

Jack Quaid

"If we must strike… THEN WE SHALL STRIIIIIIIIKEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" he tweeted. "#SAGAFTRA."

Frankie Grande

"Proud to be a part of an incredible union fighting for what's right for all actors and so proud to stand alongside my WGA family," he tweeted. "Let's make Hollywood a better and shinier place for us all!"

Maria Shriver

"Wow," she tweeted. "Having writers and actors both out of work will affect so many families behind the scenes, many who live paycheck to paycheck."

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