Mark Ruffalo has urged fellow actors and writers to work together to make independent projects to cut out Hollywood’s “fat cats”.
The actor posted a thread on Twitter on Saturday (July 15) in response to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) strike which began last week. The union, which represents 160,000 actors and performers, are seeking an increase in base pay and residuals in the age of streaming, along with safeguards against the unregulated use of artificial intelligence in the industry.
In a post in support of the strike, Ruffalo wrote: “How about we all jump into indies now? Content creators create a film & TV-making system alongside the studio & streaming networks? So there is actual competition.
Then we just do what we always do—create great content & they can buy it, or we take it out ourselves & WE share in those sales. They’ve created an empire of billionaires & believe that we are no longer of value. While they hang out in the billionaire boy summer camps laughing…
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 15, 2023
“Then we just do what we always do – create great content & they can buy it, or we take it out ourselves & WE share in those sales. They’ve created an empire of billionaires & believe that we are no longer of value. While they hang out in the billionaire boy summer camps laughing like fat cats, we organise a new world for workers.”
He added: “One sure way to strengthen our hand right now is to become very supportive & friendly to all independent projects immediately.”
The actors’ strike coincides with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which began on May 2 and halted production on a number of projects. It marks the first time that actors and writers in Hollywood have gone on strike simultaneously in over 60 years.
Last week (July 13), Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Robert Downey Jr. left the London premiere of Oppenheimer as the actors’ strike began. The event was brought forward by an hour so the cast could walk the red carpet.
In response to the strike, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), who represent major Hollywood studios like Netflix and Disney, said that 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,” it added.