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Actors’ strike: Mark Ruffalo condemns Hollywood ‘billionaires’ who are laughing ‘like fat cats’

‘They’ve created an empire of billionaires and believe that we are no longer of value’

By Hollie Geraghty

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International for 'Thor: Ragnarok' at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California (Picture: Wikimedia Creative Commons/ Gage Skidmore)

Mark Ruffalo has called on actors and writers to rally against Hollywood’s industry “fat cats” who “believe we are no longer of value”.

The actors’s comments came after the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted unanimously last Thursday (July 13) to strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) broke down.

The decision to picket alongside the separate Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike marks the first time in more than 60 years that Hollywood writers and actors have gone on strike at the same time.

“How about we all jump into indies now?” Ruffalo tweeted on Saturday (July 15).

“Content creators create a film & TV-making system alongside the studio & streaming networks? So there is actual competition.”

The actor went on: “Then we just do what we always do—create great content & they can buy it, or we take it out ourselves & WE share in those sales. They’ve created an empire of billionaires & believe that we are no longer of value. While they hang out in the billionaire boy summer camps laughing like fat cats, we organize a new world for workers.

The Avengers actor continued that “one sure way to strengthen our hand right now is to become very supportive & friendly to all independent projects immediately”.

“Push every SAG-AFTRA member to join the ones that get SAG-AFTRA (WGA) WAIVERS immediately.  The studios have no competition—this will change that.

“Share profits. If the project does well, everyone does well. This will also help our fellow filmmakers “The Crew,” who we love, to keep working. This is also part of #Solidarity. We have to take care of each other.”

George Clooney is among other actors who have spoken out since the strike began, telling PA News in a statement:  “This is an inflection point in our industry. Actors and writers in large numbers have lost their ability to make a living.

“For our industry to survive that has to change. For actors that journey starts now.”

Christopher Nolan also spoke about industry concerns related to the strike at a recent screening of Oppenheimer.

“With the labour disputes going on in Hollywood right now, a lot of it – when we talk about AI, when we talk about these issues – they’re all ultimately born from the same thing, which is when you innovate with technology, you have to maintain accountability,” Nolan during a panel conversation in New York.

Stars of the director’s new film – Florence Pugh, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon and more – left the London premiere in solidarity as the strike was called on Thursday.