Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has gone to the mat, financially, to help out striking actors.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the educational and charitable arm of the actors’ union, said on Monday that the wrestler-turned-actor had made a seven-figure donation for actors in need of financial assistance during the strike against Hollywood studios.
“Thank you @TheRock for your extraordinary generosity and historic donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation! You help thousands of @sagaftra actors and families in dire need, and you take the initiative for others to follow! We appreciate you!!!” the foundation said in a statement on Twitter.
After SAG-AFTRA called a strike on July 13, the foundation sent a letter to the union’s 2,700 highest-earning members asking for financial assistance to replenish its coffers.
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SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance and Executive Director Cyd Wilson wrote the letter.
Johnson’s team responded almost immediately, Vance said. Variety.
Although Vance declined to say the exact amount Johnson gave, he noted that the black adam the star’s generosity sends a message to the acting community.
“He’s the one saying, ‘At a time like this, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere, whatever you want me to do. And that sends a huge message to others to do the same,” Vance said.
The last time the SAG-AFTRA Foundation made an urgent appeal for help was during the COVID-19 pandemic, when film and television productions ceased.
“Our mandate and our mission is to be able to help members financially in times of need and crisis – for their medical expenses, their rents, their mortgages and their food. And that’s where we meet again. They’re on the picket lines, but they still have to be able to pay for things,” Vance explained.
Wilson said eligible members can receive SAG-AFTRA Foundation grants of up to $1,500, and in difficult situations, a life member can get up to $6,000 in emergency assistance.
The foundation noted that Johnson’s seven-figure donation will help between 7,000 and 10,000 of the union’s 160,000 members.
“When we’re going through a crisis like this and we’re going to spend millions and millions of dollars in financial aid, that’s when we need our top talent who can afford it, who is able to help others,” Wilson said.
The union has previously said that 87% of its members are not earning enough acting jobs to meet the $26,000 per year threshold to qualify for union health insurance.
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