George Clooney is getting A-listers to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation

There’s been some talk about why “big name” celebrities haven’t been seen on the SAG-AFTRA picket lines in LA and New York. People within SAG-AFTRA have told the trade papers that many major celebrities have asked for advice, and the union is advising those people to stay off the picket lines to focus more on the actors who aren’t even making a living wage and who can’t afford healthcare. Those A-listers were told that if they wanted to do something, they should donate to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation or The Entertainment Community Fund, both of which are giving money to out-of-work actors on the picket lines. Well, finally, we’re hearing about those celebrities making big donations:

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a charity that provides financial assistance to workaday performers, said on Wednesday that Meryl Streep and George Clooney had helped lead a donation campaign that had raised more than $15 million over the last three weeks. The pair each gave $1 million and then started to lobby Hollywood’s other top-earning stars for contributions. A Google Doc was created to keep track of who was leaning on whom.

Eight more stars (Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey) gave $1 million or more, along with two star couples: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

“I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line,” Ms. Streep said in a statement. “In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath.”

Mr. Clooney added, “We’ve stood on the shoulders of the likes of Bette Davis and Jimmy Cagney, and it’s time for our generation to give something back.”

[From The NY Times]

My favorite detail is “A Google Doc was created to keep track of who was leaning on whom.” Who leaned on Bennifer? Who leaned on Nicole Kidman?? Notice who’s not on the list – Brad Pitt. The same Brad Pitt who scabbed for two weeks after the strike was called. The same Brad Pitt who is up to his eyeballs in lawsuits, French investigations and fraud. I guess he didn’t have the liquidity to donate?? Also: I hope Angelina Jolie is donating? Who’s leaning on her? Salma Hayek too. Jennifer Lawrence as well. Someone lean on Kim Kardashian, she’s rich and she was working during the writers’ strike. And I love that someone called Leo DiCaprio on his f–king yacht and leaned on his ass too.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

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13 Responses to “George Clooney is getting A-listers to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation”

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  1. Aimee says:

    These people make ungodly amounts of money. They can afford to pitch in. Reading about these journeymen and women actors really made me feel bad for this pay disparity. We all need to appreciate what each and every one brings to this industry.

    • NJGR says:

      @aimee – I think the pay situation in Hollywood is a bit like the one in pro sports: yeah, the famous performers/athletes make a *lot* of money, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the people who run the industry make.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I wonder how much “leaning” there was for some of these people and how much they just gave? Like Leo – I feel like he must have so much money at this point, he probably just got a million out of the couch cushions of his yacht. I can also see Matt Damon donating willingly. The Rock’s donation was announced last week and SAG-Aftra called it “historic” so I don’t think anyone was leaning on him.

    I do think in general this is where these big names can put their money where their mouth is – yes, support the striker, but support the striking actors by helping them eat and pay rent for this time, so I’m glad to see these names.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Especially those whose careers who were launched by the magnificent writing in their early careers!! And why are the talk show hosts, along with the daytime hosts, not being leaned upon as well?? They certainly have the $$$$$ to donate? Ripa, anyone??

      They all have their careers due to those on strike. They wouldn’t be living like kings if it weren’t for these people that created and produced their vehicles to give them the success and payouts that they deem themselves worthy of as well??

  3. AC says:

    I wonder if Angelina Jolie has a million dollars to give. The impression is that she is pretty strapped between the various lawsuits with her gross ex and the expenses she’s incurring raising the kids.

  4. Lens says:

    Actually The Rock started it. The others just followed suit when they knew people would say if the Rock donated a million why don’t you? Which is a good thing. And keeps people from asking why they think they’re too good to be on a picket line. (Although plenty of stars have been.)

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Lens, why is that?? We have seen many high ranking actors striking in solidarity? Not only does the financial donations help them but so would a stand of solidarity as well.

    • michyk says:

      i’ve heard that the strike coordinators are keeping a lot of the super big, super rich stars from appearing on the picket line because it can send the message of ‘the rich wanting to get richer’, and can take the focus away from the struggles of the people this strike is really affecting. they’re doing a good job of rotating who’s on the picket lines to keep it in the headlines.

    • Mei says:

      Came here to say this, I’m pretty sure the Rock was the first one we heard about and it feels like it was earlier than last week, but that could just be my perception.

  5. Bumblebee says:

    I think A-listers need to be careful showing up in picket lines. Because of crazy fans, stalkers, paparazzi, causing problems. And it would take the focus away from the people who really need better pay and work conditions.

  6. Roan Inish says:

    I don’t know how many ‘workaday’ actors are out there but let’s hope with this kind of money being donated they can give them 3 or 4 months of mortgage/rent payments.