film / tv / politics / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / politics / web / celeb


Sarah Silverman Goes Off on Movie Stars 'Scabbing' For Indie Projects

By Dustin Rowles | TV | July 28, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | July 28, 2023 |


We are 88 days into the writers’ strike and two weeks into the actors’ strike, with no end in sight as the AMPTP has so far refused to return to the negotiating table. They’re apparently not even trying, seemingly reasoning that they can hold out long enough to bleed the writers and actors dry and force them to settle on their terms. If content runs out — and the fall fails to bring new episodes of our favorite broadcast network series — it appears the studios think we’ll blame the writers and actors.

Meanwhile, there are a number of actors who continue to work on independent projects under SAG waivers. Approximately 40 projects have been granted waivers. Actors including Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Ortega, Mads Mikkelsen, and Dave Bautista, among many others, are continuing to work. Sarah Silverman is not happy about this, as she made clear in an Instagram post.

“I feel f—-ing pissed off, and I know I just must not be understanding something. There are like 40 movies being made right now. Movie stars are making movies because they’re independent movies, and SAG is allowing it because if they do sell it to streaming, it has to be because streaming is abiding by all the things we’re asking for. That’s just working. The strike ends when they come to the table and we make a deal in agreement. So, you’re just letting people make movies, and movie stars are making movies that you know the goal is to sell them to streaming.”

“When SAG joined the strike, it’s, ‘Movie stars aren’t making movies for you anymore, now what are you going to do?’ Well, they’re making movies. What the f—-? I got offered an indie movie, I f—-ing said no, and so did a bunch of my friends, and now some of my friends are saying yes. I’m really pissed. Please, explain to me why I shouldn’t be angry, because people are making real-deal sacrifices. People, writers, actors, crew people, all these people are sacrificing their livelihood for this cause. It’s called union strong, where we are all together. And when SAG joined the strike, we should see every movie star out there striking along, because you have insurance because of your union and you get residuals because of your union. All of these things you get because of your union and you can’t stand with your union?”

Silverman noted that she didn’t know whether to be angry with the movie stars for accepting the projects or with SAG for granting the waivers. However, in the comments, Zooey Deschanel accurately noted, I believe, that “we are striking against certain particular contractual agreements with the AMPTP- not all work.”

My understanding of the specifics is somewhat hazy, but it seems that working on these independent projects could actually be beneficial for the strike. This is because the movies are produced by companies that do not belong to the AMPTP, and the actors are working under an “interim agreement” that includes the terms of the latest SAG-AFTRA counter in the negotiations. This means the actors receive an 11 percent raise.

If a studio like A24, which is not part of the AMPTP, can pay the actors what SAG is asking for, it demonstrates that the larger studios should also be able to afford these rates under SAG’s interim agreement, too. Moreover, it might even put pressure on the major studios to broker a deal, as these independent movies could become hits in theaters during what might otherwise be a dry spell for the studios. If, for instance, A24’s Death of a Unicorn starring Jenna Ortega and Paul Rudd made $75 million in theaters on a $20 million budget and the actors on the movie were paid under the terms of SAG’s interim agreement, this could give independent (and non-IP-reliant) projects an advantage over, say, Disney’s live-action Lilo and Stitch, which could lose its release date to an independent project.

The short-term optics may not look great when actors like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey are working rather than picketing, but it’s not scabbing if the actors are working outside the studio system and being paid under SAG terms. Moreover, while streamers may end up buying some of these movies, presumably, they will have to pay the actors (and writers) under the terms ultimately negotiated by SAG and WGA. That seems like a win/win, at least, for the Screen Actors Guild.

Source: Insta