A group of SAG-AFTRA strike captains organized an open letter signed by apparently thousands of union members in solidarity amid the ongoing actors strike, saying, “We have not come all this way to cave now.”
The signatories of the letter appear to include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Cynthia Nixon, Leslie Odom Jr. Demi Moore, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jon Hamm, Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Kate Walsh, Chelsea Handler and more. The Music news has gone out to representatives of these stars for comment.
“Back in June, before we went on strike, a large group of members signed an open letter telling our leaders that we would rather go on strike than take a bad deal,” the letter read. “Now, more than 100 days into our strike, that is still true. As hard as this is, we would rather stay on strike than take a bad deal.”
The letter comes as SAG-AFTRA is back in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers this week after the union has been on strike for over 100 days. On Thursday, SAG-AFTRA presented a “comprehensive counter” to company leaders and will be back at the bargaining table on Friday, the SAG-AFTRA TV/theatrical negotiating committee told union members on Friday.
Signatories were able to sign the letter via Google Form, but only the organizers were aware of the names who had signed on until the full list went public on Thursday night.
THR previously reported that a draft of a very different letter had been circulating from a group of A-listers who have been frustrated by the pace of contract talks. The draft, begun before SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP went back to the bargaining table this week, expressed concerns about SAG-AFTRA’s leadership. However, that letter was tabled once bargaining resumed on Tuesday.
The full letter from SAG members that was released on Thursday follows.
“To Our SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee:
Back in June, before we went on strike, a large group of members signed an open letter telling our leaders that we would rather go on strike than take a bad deal.
Now, more than 100 days into our strike, that is still true. As hard as this is, we would rather stay on strike than take a bad deal.
We have not come all this way to cave now. We have not gone without work, without pay, and walked picket lines for months just to give up on everything we’ve been fighting for. We cannot and will not accept a contract that fails to address the vital and existential problems that we all need fixed.
In any union, there will always be a minority who are not willing to make temporary sacrifices for the greater good. But we, the majority who voted overwhelmingly to authorize this strike, are still standing in solidarity, ready to strike as long as it takes and to endure whatever we must in order to win a deal that is worthy of our collective sacrifice. We know that our union leaders are doing everything in their power to achieve that goal as they negotiate in good faith with the companies to arrive at a new contract that will protect us and our fellow performers, now and for generations to come.
Everything we have as a union – every minimum payment, health and pension benefit, residual, royalty, and workplace protection – it has all been won with the power of our members; the power of our solidarity; the power of standing together as one to demand what is right, what is fair, and what we deserve. You have our trust, our support, and our power behind you now.
One day longer. One day stronger. For as long as it takes.“
Abid Rahman contributed to this report.