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Clooney Can’t Solve the Actor Strike

Alas, the Clooney plan will not end this strike.
Alas, the Clooney plan will not end this strike. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
October 20, 2023

No, George Clooney will not save us. That would’ve been a nice Hollywood ending for this tragic SAG-AFTRA strike. One of our great movie stars, parachuting in with Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, and a bottle of Casamigos at perhaps the lowest point of the nearly 100-day impasse, a week after the studio heads walked out of negotiations in response to a request to add a payment for each streaming subscriber. Logline: Our hero boldly proposes a winning formula that, against all odds, persuades the stalemated union and leads to a fantastic new deal. Cue the fanfare!

Alas, the Clooney plan will not end this strike. It doesn’t even make sense. On a Zoom meeting Tuesday with SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and lead negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, Clooney and others proposed removing the cap on member dues (it’s now at $1 million in earnings), which he said would generate $50 million annually for the guild from its high-earning members, and switching up the hierarchy so lower-paid actors get residuals first. The move, he argued, would throw the needed dough into the financial hole that the guild is struggling to fill via negotiations with the AMPTP.