Film stars walk out on Oppenheimer premiere as largest Hollywood shutdown in 40 years launched

13 July 2023, 20:29 | Updated: 14 July 2023, 22:52

Major Hollywood actors are to strike as part of the industrial action.
Major Hollywood actors are to strike as part of the industrial action. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon have walked out on the Oppenheimer premiere in London as Hollywood actors join writers in a major strike.

The stars of Christopher Nolan's hotly anticipated classic about the development of the nuclear bomb walked out on the film premiere in Leicester Square to “write their picket signs”.

The screening had been brought forward by an hour on Thursday to avoid clashing with the actors' strike, as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) union announced the planned action.

It marks the first time in 63 years that the the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA will be on strike at the same time.

Read More: Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon and Ted Lasso's Jason Sudeikis among stars to join Hollywood picket line

Read More: From Deadpool to Avatar: All the films that will stop filming due to Hollywood strikes

Earlier on Thursday SAG-AFTRA, which represents some 160,000 performers, had voted to recommend strike action unanimously as they failed to reach an agreement with Hollywood studios.

The guild said they received an “insulting and disrespectful” response to their demands from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Hollywood studios said the failed talks with the guild were “deeply disappointing”.

It said in a statement: "A strike is certainly not the outcome we hoped for as studios cannot operate without the performers that bring our TV shows and films to life".

Read more: US Oppenheimer red carpet premiere cancelled after star-studded cast walks out in London

Hollywood stars arrived at the premiere for Oppenheimer on Thursday evening.
Hollywood stars arrived at the premiere for Oppenheimer on Thursday evening. Picture: Getty

"The Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry."

Actors are demanding better pay and working conditions from streaming services, as well as reassurances that AI will not be used to replace actors in future.

"They've left us with no alternative," the union's executive director and chief negotiator said.

It is the first double-strike from both unions since 1960, while the last actor strike was in 1980.

The Directors Guild of America, a third union, will not participate in the strikes after successfully negotiating a deal in June.

Members of the Writers Guild of America have already been on strike for several months, affecting the production of TV programmes and movies across the industry.

A number of high-profile actors are set to join the actors strike, including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Mark Ruffalo.

The strike was announced by union president Fran Drescher and will start at midnight Pacific Time in the US - 8am BST.

She said: "This is a very seminal hour for us.

"The gravity of this move is not lost on me ... it's a very serious thing that impacts thousands if not millions of people.

"This is a moment of history that is a moment of truth. If we don't stand tall now we are all going to be in trouble.

"The jig is up AMPTP, we stand tall, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. You cannot exist without us."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Misery for holidaymakers as 4,000 flights grounded by IT outage that sparked chaos, and recovery 'could cost billions'

Christina Sandera and Clint Eastwood in 2018

Clint Eastwood's partner Christina Sandera dies aged 61, as 94-year-old Hollywood icon gives poignant tribute

Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is unlawful, the International Court of Justice has ruled

Top UN court rules Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories 'unlawful', as Netanyahu slams 'false decision'

Over 4,000 flights have been delayed or cancelled today.

Has your flight been affected by the global IT outage? Can you claim compensation?

Friday was the hottest day of the year so far - but the mini heatwave will end soon

Exact date mini-heatwave to end, as Friday becomes hottest day of the year so far with temperature close to 32C

Ben Ross has been missing since July 10

Mum of missing Brit Ben Ross to fly to Majorca for desperate search as police issue statement