Dwayne Johnson, Arnold, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, More Donate Millions To SAG Strike

SAG-AFTRA Foundation and the Entertainment Community Fund.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation and the Entertainment Community Fund.

Dwayne Johnson, Arnold, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, More Donate Millions To SAG Strike

The Hollywood stars come through big time as Dwayne Johnson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, and more donate to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to support the actors strike.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance announced on Wednesday that it has raised more than $15 million from a growing list of $1 million donors to the Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program.

Thanks to the support of some of Hollywood’s top-earning stars, the Foundation is preparing to bring aid and hope to thousands of journeymen actors facing tremendous economic hardship. An independent charity since 1985, the Foundation provides relief aid to eligible SAG-AFTRA performers in unexpected financial crises. 

To date, the growing list of Patrons of the Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program who have made donations of $1 million or more are: 

  • George and Amal Clooney
  • Luciana and Matt Damon
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
  • Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
  • Julia Roberts
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Meryl Streep
  • Oprah Winfrey

Vance said, “The entertainment industry is in crisis and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is currently processing more than 30 times our usual number of applications for emergency aid. We received 400 applications in the last week alone. Our Emergency Financial Assistance Program is here to ensure that performers in need don’t lose their homes, have the ability to pay for utilities, buy food for their families, purchase life-saving prescriptions, cover medical bills and more. It’s a massive challenge, but we’re determined to meet this moment. For more than 38 years, the Foundation has been a safety net for our community during its most challenging times, and much like the COVID pandemic, this work stoppage magnifies the precarious living conditions and financial distress of many actors living paycheck to paycheck.” 

He continued, “I appealed to our community to remember how tough it was coming up, and the response to help their fellow performers has been incredible, immediate and heartwarming. Dwayne Johnson helped kick-start this campaign by giving a historic seven-figure donation. And, two longtime champions of our Foundation and leaders on our Actors Council, Meryl Streep and George Clooney, stepped up with $1 million donations, emails, and many calls to action rallying others to give generously. We’ve crushed our initial goal because our people are coming together, but we still aren’t done. Our fundraising will continue in order to meet the overwhelming needs of our community now and in the future.” 

Said Streep, “I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line. In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath. We will stand strong together against these powerful corporations who are bent on taking the humanity, the human dignity, even the human out of our profession. I am proudest of my fellow actors who have immediately offered to fund the Emergency Financial Assistance Program.” 

Added Clooney, “We stand ready to get back to the table and make a fair deal with the AMPTP. Until then, I’m proud to be able to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and my fellow actors who may be struggling in this historic moment. We’ve stood on the shoulders of the likes of Bette Davis and Jimmy Cagney and it’s time for our generation to give something back. I can’t thank Courtney enough for his determination in putting this effort together by shedding light on the human toll happening right now, and how we can work together to alleviate some of the pain and suffering.” 

To give a donation to the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program, go to sagaftra.foundation/donate

Hollywood also donates to the Entertainment Community Fund

Seth McFarlane also donated $1 Million to the Entertainment Community Fund to support the film and television workers during the strikes (via Variety).

The donors include:

  • The Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams Family Foundation
  • Stacey Abrams
  • Annette Bening
  • Tom Bergeron
  • Greg Berlanti
  • Rachel Bloom
  • Rosanne Cash in memory of Johnny Cash
  • Suzanne Collins and Cap Pryor
  • Vince Gilligan
  • Lynn Nottage
  • Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley
  • Shonda Rhimes
  • Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw

“The Entertainment Community Fund is overcome with gratitude to the prominent leaders in our community who have donated in support of film and television workers in need,” Entertainment Community Fund chair Annette Bening said in a statement Tuesday morning. “Each day, the calls for help increase; these gifts will immediately assist so many in our industry who are still struggling to recover after the pandemic. We also hope that these impactful gifts will inspire others, if they can, to donate to support our crucial work.”

Due to the work stoppage during the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, the fund has seen a significant increase in requests for emergency financial assistance. Weekly distribution has increased to about $400,000-$500,000, compared to an average of $75,000 per week in the first half of 2023.

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