Just two days following the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) granting an "Interim Agreement" strike exemption to Viola Davis' upcoming film G20, the actress and producer has elected to hit the pause button.
This decision is a powerful display of solidarity with the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes. In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Davis articulated her commitment to the strike. "I have a deep admiration for this movie, but I believe it is not right to proceed with this production during the ongoing strike," she said.
She further expressed her gratitude to the film's producers for their understanding and agreement with her decision, emphasizing her production company JuVee Productions' unwavering support for her fellow actors, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
G20 Amid Strike Exemptions
In the forthcoming action-thriller, Davis plays a U.S. president who must protect her family and fellow diplomats when terrorists infiltrate the G20 Summit. It is one among over a hundred other truly independent film and television projects that have been greenlit with exemptions since the strike commenced, a list that also includes projects with stars like Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Ortega, and Paul Rudd.
Her decision was announced not long after comedian Sarah Silverman criticized actors who persist in working during the strike due to such agreements. In an impassioned Instagram video, Silverman expressed her frustration at the perceived betrayal, explaining that making movies for streaming platforms does not equate to supporting the strikers' cause.
She passionately called on her fellow actors to make tangible sacrifices and stand in solidarity with their union. The SAG-AFTRA, which serves as the representative for over 160,000 performers—ranging from actors and announcers to DJs, dancers, broadcast journalists, and more—is currently locked in a standoff with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The union's demands focus on bettering working conditions, compensation, and protection for its members in light of the substantial shifts in the industry concerning streaming services and artificial intelligence use. The strike is an expression of the collective voice of these industry professionals, urging the AMPTP to meet their demands, and Viola Davis' move to halt G20 production is a significant show of solidarity with this cause.