Chanting “SAG-AFTRA loud,” striking actors filled Times Square Tuesday morning with calls for change and a fair contract.
Billed as a “Rock the City” rally, the rally drew a massive crowd that included union leaders, as well as celebrities and their supporters.
“When we fight, we win!” Wendell Pierce said from the stage.
Thread And Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan The actor reflected on his childhood in Louisiana and said freed slaves in his home country also fought for their rights.
“I have always supported the unions, because there is history here. There is blood in the fields,” Pierce said. “The sugar cane workers worked in the fields a generation ago, newly liberated, earning a dollar a day. They could not own the land they worked on. They organized themselves and they came together in solidarity.
Related story: WGA Black Writers to Studios and Streamers: ‘B-ch Betta Have My Money’
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) July 25, 2023
Also at the rally were Jessica Chastain, Brendan Fraser, Vanessa Williams, Rachel Zegler, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jane Curtin, Melissa Joan Hart, S. Epatha Merkerson, Christine Baranski, Corey Stoll, Christian Slater, Hill Harper, Steve Buscemi and other stars.
Buscemi noted that the Writers Guild of America was also on strike and called on studios and streamers to give fair contracts to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.
“Writers must write. Actors need to act and AMPTP needs to do the right thing for us,” Buscemi said in reference to the Alliance of Film and TV Producers, which represents major studios and streamers in contract negotiations with the two unions.
breaking Bad alum Bryan Cranston also spoke on the podium. He said the entertainment industry had changed and SAG-AFTRA wanted a new contract to reflect those changes.
“They want us to go back in time. We cannot and we will not. What we offered in the negotiations is not unreasonable,” Cranston said.
Michelle Hurd, a member of the SAG-AFTRA bargaining committee, fired up the crowd. She said she was from New York and was proud to see the massive turnout at the rally.
“Seeing you all here, New York has arrived!” Hurd said.
The actress – who had roles on Blindspot, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, And Star Trek: Picard – reminded the crowd that even though she’s been on hit TV shows, she’s not rich.
“If you see me on these many different shows, it’s because I hustle,” Hurd said. “I scramble to pay my bills, to put food on my table. I don’t live a lavish life! It’s a labor union here. We are workers.
The actors began marching picket lines in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami and other cities on Friday, July 14. The writers’ strike began on May 2.
Watch coverage of Tuesday’s rally from Now This below:
#SAGAFTRA #strike #rally #takes #Times #Squares