At Tuesday’s New York premiere of Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” the all-star cast had a lot to say about Hollywood’s writers’ strike.
Scarlett Johansson, Adrien Brody, Bryan Cranston and Rupert Friend revealed what they really think of the standoff between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers as they walked the beige carpet at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall went.
“Whatever happens in the future will forever change the way revenue is determined,” Johansson said diversity. “It’s something that had to happen for a long time, something we’ve talked about for a long time, and now the breaking point is finally here. It is important for all of us as creators to unite and support this massive shift so that we can get to the other side, which we will do.”
The WGA called a strike on May 1 after the guild failed to reach an agreement with the AMPTP. SAG-AFTRA began negotiations with major studios on June 7th. A potential actors’ strike could disrupt marketing campaigns for several major film releases — including Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, and the franchise relaunch. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.” SAG-AFTRA is in talks and is looking for rules on artificial intelligence, better streaming residual formula, and restrictions on self-taped auditions, among other things. The guild’s contract expires on June 30th.
“That experience in the Wes Anderson film really showed me how wonderful it is to be with people,” Cranston said. “That a group of people both above and below the line come together and work together. To eat together. To get to know each other and still get the job done. It was an all-encompassing, all-encompassing experience. Right now, at this tipping point in our business, AI poses a threat to social interaction, and social interaction is often the seed of ideas that become creative content. Walk through any studio or network now. It is quiet. It is empty. Six people are in the building. The mood is down. It doesn’t feel active, alive, or creative. The fewer people you actually involve, the less human it becomes in every sense of the word. And the less interesting it becomes.”
Brody added: “These are very important issues that affect us all. There’s a lot of technology to worry about, and I understand that. We’re all hoping here that all the great minds will band together and come up with a solution that works for everyone.”
Freund agreed with Steven Soderbergh’s recent comments diversity that the industry is at a “critical juncture”.
“Streaming and all that it entails has been an amazing addition to our business,” Friend said. “I think there are certain things that weren’t addressed (when streaming started) that need to be addressed now and have to do with fair compensation for writers. I stand behind the authors 100 percent. They are the creators of content and should be rewarded fairly.”
Last month, Anderson was at the Cannes Film Festival with the cast of the world premiere of “Asteroid City,” which Focus Features will release in theaters on Friday.
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