Simon Pegg, Brian Cox support Hollywood strike at London rally
LONDON—”Mission Impossible” star Simon Pegg and Brian Cox from “Succession” joined a rally in London on Friday, July 21, in support of US film and television writers and actors striking for higher pay and new terms in the streaming era.
Hollywood actors went on strike on July 14 after talks with studios broke down, joining film and television writers who have been on picket lines since May and further disrupting scores of shows and movies.
Actors union SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America want increases in base pay and residuals, plus assurances they will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI).
British actors’ union Equity organized the rally in Leicester Square, where movie theaters hosted UK premieres including “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” last week.
While actors on Equity contracts can still work, the union is in full support of the strike and keen to make sure no loopholes are sought, its General Secretary Paul Fleming told Reuters on Monday.
David Oyelowo, Andy Serkis, Imelda Staunton, Naomie Harris and Hayley Atwell also joined Friday’s rally, where supporters held placards saying “Equity stands in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.”
US comedian and actor Rob Delaney, who is a member of Equity and SAG-AFTRA, said the cross-Atlantic solidarity on show at the rally was a “beautiful thing.”
“We’re going to win, we’re going to show you how workers need to be paid for their labor, and it’s going to be fantastic,” he told the crowd.
Cox told reporters he was “essentially, initially” supporting the writers.
“But of course, other things have come into play because we’re also doing our own negotiations, but our own negotiations pale in relationship to AI, because AI is a really, really very serious thing and that’s the thing where we’re most vulnerable,” he said. AP/ra