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

14 July 2023, 22:47 | Updated: 15 July 2023, 00:31

A number of famous actors joined the picket line on Friday
A number of famous actors joined the picket line on Friday. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon and Ted Lasso's Jason Sudeikis were among stars to join picket lines on the first day of strikes by actors in Hollywood on Friday.

Jason Sudeikis, who is famous for his roles in Ted Lasso, Horrible Bosses and We're the Millers, has been a vocal supporter of those taking strike action in the industry since writers walked out in May.

Meanwhile, Sarandon - who starred in Thelma & Louise - has accused movie studios of refusing to discuss the potential threat of artificial intelligence to the acting community.

Strikes were staged in Los Angeles and New York, with thousands of actors and writers taking part.

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.

It is the first time that writers and actors in Hollywood have been on strike since the 1960s. It represents the biggest shutdown the industry has faced in decades.

Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon
Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon. Picture: Getty
Frozen's Josh Gad was also there
Frozen's Josh Gad was also at the strike . Picture: Getty
Jason Sudeikis is seen walking the picket line for the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes in New York
Jason Sudeikis is seen walking the picket line for the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes in New York. Picture: Getty

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (Sag-Aftra), which represents 160,000 actors, announced on Thursday that it had voted in favour of strike action.

Disruption was felt almost instantaneously, with the UK premiere of Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated movie Oppenheimer forced to reschedule after the strike was announced.

The premiere for Nolan's new film was set to take place in Leicester Square, central London, at 5.45pm on Thursday, though was brought forward by an hour to avoid clashing with the start of the strike.

The film's star-studded cast, which includes Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr, and Matt Damon, then walked out on the premiere "to write their picket line signs".

On Friday it was announced that the US premiere for Oppenheimer would no longer have a red carpet and no actors will show up.

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

The movie's stars walked out early
The movie's stars walked out early. Picture: Getty

Essentially, this is what Hollywood actors and writers are asking for:

Improved pay deals: Both actors and writers want higher pay, especially since deals have been less lucrative financially on streaming services compared with typical Hollywood movies. Some actors have called for a greater share of revenue from streaming.

Artificial Intelligence protection: There are also concerns about studios using AI technology to write scripts and scan actors to use them as extras in the backgrounds, without approval or pay on continued use.

Read More: From Deadpool to Avatar: All the movies and TV shows that will stop filming due to Hollywood strikes

Studio executives have hit back, saying profits for TV and film studios have been dwindling since the pandemic. They have also said AI should be looked at as a useful tool for the future.

Which films and TV programmes are going to be affected?

Sequels to Avatar and Deadpool are likely to be affected, as will the production on Ridley Scott's Gladiator 2.

Hit TV shows such as Stranger Things and The Last of Us will also likely be affected.

It is currently unclear how long the strikes will last, but Succession star Brian Cox has warned it may last until the end of the year.