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As actors strike hits 100 days, hope mixes with financial angst

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© SAG-AFTRA members walk the picket line on the 100th day of their ongoing strike outside Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 20, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

By Rollo Ross

LOS ANGELES () – As the actors strike hits the 100-day mark on Saturday, performers on the picket line offered a mix of worry over financial difficulties and hopes of getting a good deal out of studios after talks broke down.

On the picket line outside Netflix (NASDAQ:) on Friday, striking actors were grateful for a proposal by A-list Hollywood actors like George Clooney to pitch in $150 million to the SAG-AFTRA union over three years to help end the strike.

“It shows that they’re paying attention and it shows that we’re having an impact because A-listers can’t work without the B and C-Listers underneath them supporting the rest of the show,” said Richard Speight, 54.

“So thrilled that they’re involved, thrilled that they’re emotionally committed and even willing to get financially committed on what’s going on.”

Vincenza Blank, 36, who is both an actor and a writer, said the labor solidarity has been impressive but the financial toll was hard, noting “I’ve had to do things financially to cover expenses that I wouldn’t normally have to do.”

The strike has disrupted film and television production, leaving thousands of crew members without work as well as the actors. Hollywood’s film and television writers ratified a new, three-year contract earlier this month, ending their 148-day work stoppage.

But talks between the studios and the actors union broke down last week as the sides clashed over streaming revenue and the use of artificial intelligence.

Several actors expressed hope that the union would reach the kind of deal that actors deserve and that helps them cover the high cost of living in a place like Los Angeles.

“The feeling is that we’re going to keep strong, we’re going to keep going,” said Kevin Grossman, adding “I certainly don’t feel like we should stop. If you get this far, you might as well keep going.”

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