Odenkirk to Actors: Reject SAG-AFTRA Strike Waivers, Support Strike

Amidst an industry-wide SAG-AFTRA strike, discord brews over waivers.

by Nouman Rasool
Odenkirk to Actors: Reject SAG-AFTRA Strike Waivers, Support Strike

Emmy-nominated actor Bob Odenkirk issued a firm message to his colleagues in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) who wish to continue work amidst the ongoing strike: "Don't." On Wednesday, while on the picket lines outside Paramount Studios, Odenkirk, acclaimed for his work in the hit series "Better Call Saul," shared his unambiguous stance on actors seeking waivers to continue project promotions during the strike with The Wrap.

He stated emphatically, "It's a strike. Be on strike. You lose. We lose. Everybody loses. That's tough." This proclamation reflects the stark reality of the situation for many actors amidst the industrial action, a fallout between the actor's union and Hollywood studios and streaming services.

Strike Waivers Allow Select Productions

The SAG-AFTRA strike has put a temporary stop to television and film production until an agreement is reached with the said studios. Nonetheless, a small number of productions have been given waivers allowing them to continue shooting without breaching the strike terms.

These forty-five projects remain unassociated with the AMPTP and, as such, lack ties to the studios or streaming services currently at odds with SAG-AFTRA. Prominent stars including Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Rebel Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jenna Ortega, and Mads Mikkelsen are set to feature in these films.

Furthermore, some actors have requested waivers to promote their current or upcoming projects. Hollywood star Tom Cruise, for instance, petitioned the union to allow actors to promote their films. However, Odenkirk is among the influential voices calling for solidarity among actors and adherence to the picket lines, and he's far from alone in this sentiment.

Odenkirk was joined on the protest line by "The Mindy Project" actor Ike Barinholtz, who echoed the sentiments of unity. Barinholtz stated, "We all are in this together. And if some of us are starting new projects and promoting others, that's gonna cause dissension.

We need the opposite. We need solidarity." Adding to this, Odenkirk reflected, "Sometimes you have to do the hard thing." His words not only exemplify his steadfast commitment to the cause but also represent a broader call to action within the actor's community.

SAG-AFTRA has officially requested that members refrain from doing interviews or any promotional activities until the strike reaches a resolution. In compliance, the cast of "Oppenheimer" boycotted the London premiere on July 13, when the strike was announced.

Without their star-studded presence, numerous studios and streaming platforms have been compelled to cancel forthcoming events. The faith-based series "The Chosen," depicting the life of Jesus of Nazareth, was the first to declare a resumption of shooting post-strike initiation.