June 21, 2024


It took Oscar-winning actress Jessica Chastain less than 30 seconds to deliver a simple explanation of how – and why – SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreements work in the context of the ongoing strike.

Chastain, who’s also a producer, took on the challenge of boiling down the nuanced virtues of the agreements while on the red carpet at Toronto. The actress later posted the clip to her own social media.

“I’m going to explain it to you in baseball terms,” she says to a reporter from Canadian outlet eTalk. “You got the major leagues,” Chastain begins. “And they’re not happy with their contracts. We’re gonna strike. The minor leagues show up and say, ‘Hey, guess what? We’re going to give you the contract you want.’ So the players go, ‘You know what? We’re not going to work for the major leagues. We’re gonna go work for the minor leagues.’ Who do you think the audience goes to see? And now, all of a sudden, the major leagues don’t have any power.”

Watch below.

Chastain was in Toronto — and Venice — promoting her latest film Memory only because it had secured an interim agreement, as Deadline first reported. The program allows independent productions with no direct ties to members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to continue filming.

Under the terms, members “may work on these productions without being in violation of the strike order,” per the guild. The agreements also bind producers to whatever terms and conditions eventually are reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

In the meantime, productions are bound to adhere to the terms of SAG-AFTRA’s last proposal to the AMPTP. Supporters argue that the large number of such agreements, and the fact that indie producers can make them work financially, proves that SAG-AFTRA’s proposals are reasonable.

Chastain attended the film’s Venice press conference sporting a SAG-AFTRA On Strike t-shirt. She was asked if she had considered not attending amid the ongoing labor action. She began by saying, “Yes, I was incredibly nervous to be here today, and actually there are some people on my team who advised me against it.” However, she opted to come in support of her union.

“I am here because SAG-AFTRA has been explicitly clear that the way to support the strike is to post on social media, walk the picket lines and to work and support interim agreement projects. It’s what our national board, our negotiating committee and elected leadership has asked us to do. When indie producers sign these agreements they are letting the world know, they are letting the AMPTP know that actors deserve fair compensation, they have protections that should be implemented and there should be sharing of streaming revenue. So I hope being here today encourages other producers, encourages actors to show up… Hopefully we’ll see an end to the strike soon and hopefully the AMPTP will go back to the table.”


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