Bryan Cranston delivered an impassioned speech earlier this week at a SAG-AFTRA strike rally in Times Square, which included a message directly addressed to CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, according to Variety.
Bryan Cranston Shares Message for Bob Iger
At the “Rock the City for Fair Contract” rally, Cranston’s Disney-related remarks began with him acknowledging the irony that everyone was gathered together “in front of an entity that is run by Disney.”
We’ve got a message for Mr. Iger. I know, sir, that you look [at] things through a different lens. We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots.
We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity!
We are union through and through, all the way to the end!
You can watch Cranston’s message to Iger in the video below:
Bob Iger on Writers & Actors Union Strikes
Iger was recently under fire for his remarks on the strike shared with David Faber on CNBC, in which he said the labor actions were “very disturbing” to him, while calling the demands of actors and writers “not realistic.”
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher immediately responded, saying she found Iger’s comments “terribly repugnant and out of touch.”
“Positively tone deaf,” Drescher added.
I don’t think it served him well. If I were that company, I would lock him behind doors and never let him talk to anybody about this, because it’s so obvious that he has no clue as to what is really happening on the ground with hard-working people that don’t make anywhere near the salary he is making. High seven figures, eight figures, this is crazy money that they make, and they don’t care if they’re land barons of a medieval time.
Bob Iger made approximately $45.9 million in 2021. When he returned to the position of CEO in November 2022, his two-year contract allowed him to earn up to $27 million each year. His contract was recently extended to 2026.
SAG-AFTRA & WGA Strikes
The SAG-AFTRA strike will specifically impact those under the 2020 TV & Theatrical contract, meaning a few members will be exempt in areas such as interactive entertainment, audiobooks, and commercials, among others. SAG-AFTRA has not gone on strike against television and film companies for over four decades.
Before negotiations began on June 7, 97.91% of SAG-AFTRA members voted in favor of a strike authorization if agreements could not be made. After the contract (which was extended to July 12) expired this past week, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee voted unanimously to recommend a strike. The committee was negotiating with various studios and streamers, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Netflix, and Amazon.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike for over two months after negotiations with various studios and streaming platforms regarding royalties and residual payments failed. Both writers and actors have not been striking together at the same time since 1960.
SAG-AFTRA is making demands similar to the WGA regarding streaming and restrictions on AI technology being used to replicate a performer’s likeness. The WGA previously said the current state of the industry was turning it into a “gig economy” that was detrimental to writers.
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