Adam Driver had some harsh words for streaming giant Netflix while attending a press conference at the Venice Film Festival recently. The 39-year-old actor was in Venice to promote his upcoming film Ferrari when the topic of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes naturally came up. According to Variety, the actor didn’t mince words, taking aim at Netflix and Amazon.
When discussing his decision to promote Ferrari in the midst of the strike, Adam Driver asked, “Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for — this is pre-negotiations — the dream version of SAG’s wishlist, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?”
Adam Driver publicly attacks Netflix, Amazon, and the rest of the AMPTP over the ongoing actors’ strike.
As Adam Driver correctly pointed out, actors are allowed to promote movies like Ferrari provided the production isn’t associated with the AMPTP and that the studios involved agreed to the terms proposed by SAG-AFTRA in its negotiations. Several indie productions like Ferrari have complied with the terms despite having only a fraction of the resources held by giant companies like Netflix and Amazon.
Driver said that he was proud to be in Venice to represent a movie that is “not part of the AMPTP” and to do his part to “promote the SAG leadership directive.” Ferrari director Michael Mann echoed Adam Driver’s sentiments when he admitted that the film was “not made by a big studio” and that they were there “standing in solidarity” with SAG.
The director went on to admit that he was only able to make Ferrari because several of the A-List actors involved took pay cuts. Actors like Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, and Patrick Dempsey all worked on Ferrari for a fraction of their usual salary in order to make sure that the production was able to be finished the way Mann envisioned it.
“Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for — this is pre-negotiations — the dream version of SAG’s wishlist, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?”-Adam Driver
Adam Driver’s comments come after the AMPTP recently leaked one of their offers to SAG-AFTRA online in an effort to curry favor with the section of the public that already sees “Hollywood elites” as pampered crybabies who are overpaid as it is, as well as to drive a wedge between those on the picket line in an effort to get them to fight amongst themselves.
The move—seen by many as an underhanded tactic—backfired for the most part, with the majority of Americans siding with the actors and writers.
Actors like Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, and Patrick Dempsey all worked on Ferrari for a fraction of their usual salary in order to make sure that the production was able to be finished the way Mann envisioned it.
While the strike doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon, the overwhelming hope amongst WGA and SAG members is that big studios like Netflix and Warner Bros. will cave and come up with a fair offer. Perhaps if more A-list stars like Adam Driver use their platforms to bring attention to the studio’s unwillingness to give in to demands that even small independent companies are able to manage, it will eventually guilt Netflix and all the others into doing what’s right.
Adam Driver previously worked with Netflix on the 2019 Noah Baumbach film Marriage Story, for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the 2020 Academy Awards. While the actor has given no indication that he wouldn’t ever work with the streamer on future products, given his public opinion of Netflix and their behavior during the strikes, there’s a realistic chance that he may decide not to should they ever call him again.
Indeed, several big studios may find when and if the strike ends that their professional relationships with big-name SAG members have been irreparably damaged.
For now, however, expect to hear more actors like Adam Driver speaking out against Netflix, Amazon, and the like as the strikes drag on.