Hollywood’s ‘fat cat actors’ have been slammed for destroying the ‘working man’ optics of the SAG strike that is currently bringing the industry to a standstill.
Jack Arnold, producer of the Netflix hit Cobra Kai, said support for the strike could be short-lived if it was led by multi-millionaire A-listers.
‘If you look at the pulse of Middle America right now, they’re saying I could care less about all these fat cat actors and writers,’ he told Newstimesuk.com.
‘(Blue-collar workers) are the most detrimentally affected and the optics have to change,’ he added, seeming to depend on the discussion that they’re just fighting so that ‘the top 1% of writers and actors are making more money. .’
Actors’ union SAG-AFTRA announced Thursday it will strike alongside screenwriters for the first time in six decades, after talks broke down over wages, streaming services and advances in artificial intelligence in the industry.
The move is expected to make picket lines interesting as Hollywood stars join the ranks, with dual exes Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde both lending their support in New York City on Friday.
Actor Jason Sudeikis, who recently landed a $1 million gig streaming episodes, is on the picket line in New York City on July 14, 2023 (pictured)
Protesters take to the streets after talks broke down in New York City on July 13, 2023 (pictured).
Jack Arnold, associate producer of the Netflix hit Cobra Kai, says he worries that many celebrities may be missing the point of the strike.
There are fears that the Hollywood strikes could quickly lose support, as they risk numerous blockbusters currently in production.
And Arnold noted that a lack of public support could soon become a problem in the movement if everyday people see it as a fight over celebrities’ bank balances.
‘I think the challenge right now for both writers and actors is optics,’ he said.
‘It’s how do we make sure that the narrative is really about the vast majority of people, in these two unions, who are really middle class and struggling to make a basic living doing what they’ve been trained to do. .’
The producer said that ‘it would be wrong to put a face on this fight by very well-known multi-millionaires’, as most people don’t realize that the industry is mostly made up of working-class people.
“They’re the ones being most adversely affected and we really know it’s a fight for everyone,” he said, adding that optics need to change to ensure that.
Famous faces joining the picket line this week include Jason Sudeikis, Zoe Kazan, Olivia Wilde and Paul Dano.
But the inclusion of actors like Sudeikis — who recently signed a $1 million-per-episode deal for the upcoming season of Ted Lasso — could do more harm than good.
‘I think writers and actors also need to be very careful about the faces that are spreading this word,’ says Arnold.
‘If you take someone like Matt Damon, who has been very supportive of everybody in both these industries, I think everything he’s saying is right… but if it’s just coming from Matt Damon, the message gets lost in the messenger.’
A Hollywood producer has warned that many famous faces could overshadow the strike. Photo: Actors Joe Kazan (left) and Paul Dano on the picket line Friday
Also in attendance was actress Olivia Wilde, whose staggering net worth was recently revealed in her custody battle with Jason Sudeikis, who was on the picket line Friday.
One of the main arguments behind the strike was the abundance of streaming services taking over the industry. Photo: Striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) members walk a picket line in front of Netflix offices on July 12, 2023
The strikes come at a time when Americans have been struggling with high inflation and economic problems for several years during and following the pandemic.
And the Tinsel Town producer said this could play a role in how the strikes are received, as people are not naturally likely to ‘jump on board and help’ multi-millionaires.
‘If it’s about people who are struggling to live a basic life… that’s where I think public support and solidarity really starts to grow.’
One of the main issues behind the strike is the abundance of streaming services in the industry, which many feel undercuts the wages of those behind the scenes.
Arnold’s Cobra Kai show was a hit on Netflix and climbed into its top 10 worldwide rankings, but he lamented the loss of revenue when it was picked up on cable TV.
‘The amount of money that would have gone through the actors and all the people down the line involved would have been astronomical,’ he added.
‘Although mainly because of the streaming model, all the success, the entire pie of the success that was achieved by Cobra Kai, all goes to Netflix and all the Netflix executives.
‘But the people who developed the story and collectively contributed all the creative input to design the success of this series, no one gets the benefit.’
The streets of Los Angeles were packed Friday as the strike continued
Actor Jason Sudeikis was joined on the picket line by comedian Alex Edelman (right).
Actor Corey Stall was also spotted on strike in New York on July 14, 2023.
Fran Drescher, president of the SAG-AFRA union, acknowledged that the strike she is leading is partly driven by fears that actors may be replaced by robots.
His comments came after Fran Drescher, president of the SAG-AFRA union, acknowledged that the strikes were partly driven by fears that actors could be replaced by robots.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter after a press conference on Thursday, Drescher added that sinister technology is a key factor behind the strike, as ‘the digital age is cannibalizing us.’
Drescher was probably referring to powerful new technology that can ‘de-age’ actors – Indiana Jones and Dial of Destiny recently used software to make its star Harrison Ford look 40 years younger.
It is feared that the same technology could be used to completely replace human actors.
Drescher also slammed Hollywood bigwigs for failing to negotiate, telling a news conference after announcing the strike that he was ‘appalled’ by how the industry was being treated.
‘That’s how far we are in many things,’ he said.
‘How they plead poverty that they are losing money left and right while giving their CEOs millions of dollars. It’s disgusting. Damn them.’
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