On Monday I was crowing about the effective rollout of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA messaging. The union members and leaders have been eloquent with their statements, and polls are showing that the public hears them clearly. Many of you in the comments also rightly noted the big impact that working actors sharing their residual stories on social media has had, especially juxtaposed with news like Suits being watched a billionty times through streaming. Joey King, from The Kissing Booth and The Act, is a successful young actor—she’s 24 now but has been acting since she was six. She’s been on the picket lines often and since Day 1, and she just spoke with CNN about the sense of community felt among actors:
“I think all of us really, we all want to work,” she said. “We want this deal to get worked out. We want a fair contract.”
“It’s interesting because when you go picketing, there’s such a sense of community there, which is pretty incredible,” Kind added.
While entertainment writers have now been on strike for more than 100 days and talks are not currently underway with negotiators for SAG-AFTRA, King said she remains hopeful for a resolution.
The fight, King said, is about “having the values to protect all of our members.”
“A lot of people don’t understand. It’s not just the big stars. In fact, that’s such a small portion of the people that need to be paid,” she explained. “I genuinely understand the misconception. Why would you understand what we’re asking for? All you see is like big actors on the picket line… but the truth of the matter is there’s 160,000 SAG members and a lot of them don’t even qualify for health insurance every year because of how little they get paid.”
She referenced the many members who are struggling to get by.
“Do people really think that actors have multiple jobs for fun? No, this is their passion. This is their love,” King said. “We need to protect all of our members.”
King said “a lot of people don’t realize that some of their favorite actors are some of those people that can’t make ends meet.”
She added that the acting community and crews are eager to return to sets.
“All of us want to get back to work,” King said. “We want that contract to be figured out because people need work.”
Ok, so when I covered the new polls on Monday, the focus was on how the public understands and supports what actors and writers are fighting for. Listening to the way Joey lays it out here, though, got me thinking that maybe the messaging is intended for a different audience. “I genuinely understand the misconception. Why would you understand what we’re asking for? All you see is like big actors on the picket line… but the truth of the matter is there’s 160,000 SAG members and a lot of them don’t even qualify for health insurance every year because of how little they get paid.” Now I’m wondering if the goal is to try and explain it all to the studio heads. Hear me out! Joey’s talking points sound to me like an attempt at schooling the Bob Igers (Disney) and David Zaslavs (Warner Brothers), in simple language, the concept of people who have a lot (big stars), actively advocating for people who have less (98% of the union). Now do I think the idea will penetrate? No, absolutely not. It’s a fruitless endeavor, it’s Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. But it still reflects well on the actors for giving it the old college try. Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to strike we go!
Photos credit: Abaca Press/INSTARimages, Instar Images and via Instagram
Source: Read Full Article