George Clooney And Other Stars Paying Millions To End Actor’s Strike?

By Britta DeVore | Published

george clooney

While the Writers’ Guild recently reached an agreement with the studios of Hollywood, the same can’t be said for SAG-AFTRA with the union of actors continuing to strike. According to Deadline, George Clooney, and a handful of other stars met with top guild members last week to discuss how they could better help push the negotiations along. One of the group’s ideas was to wipe away the yearly cap on dues with the big names offering to pay more into the union to make things more “fair” for lower-paid actors.

George Clooney and a group of A-list actors are proposing to even the playing field for actors niot making as much. But will it happen, and is it more symbolic than anything?

In his statement, George Clooney said that their contribution would rake in more than $50 million annually, with the goal of sinking $150 million into SAG-AFTRA over the next three years. He and the rest of the group have also proposed a “bottom-up residual structure,” meaning that those lesser-known performers would be the first people to see residuals hit their bank accounts. Currently, the big names stand to make the most from residuals. 

While George Clooney referred to the talks as “ongoing,” he said that he hoped the showing of goodwill would demonstrate to the others in the guild that “we’re all in this together” and that they want to “close the gap on actors getting paid.”

Deadline contradicts Clooney and says the actors are paid residuals all at once, regardless of where your name falls on the call sheet. 

The union’s top negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, referred to the plan as “worthy of review and consideration.” No official decision has been declared at this time. Joining George Clooney in his bid for change within SAG-AFTRA’s own system were other notable names including Emma Stone, Tyler Perry, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, and more. 

George Clooney Tomorrowland
George Clooney in Tomorrowland (2015)

Although the deal that George Clooney and his fellow A-list stars are presenting sounds pretty good on paper, it’s not overly likely that it will actually help working actors as much as it sounds. With somewhere around 160,000 guild members, the financials simply don’t cover the number of those in the union.

Also, according to Deadline, the residual plan is a bit misleading. The outlet contradicts Clooney and says the actors are paid residuals all at once, regardless of where your name falls on the call sheet. 

George Clooney has yet to show up on a SAG-AFTRA picket line.

The actors’ strike has been raging on for over 100 days now with folks across TV, film, and more taking to the picket lines in front of the Hollywood studios. One surprising thing to consider is that while George Clooney seems to be the ringleader for this hopeful piece of negotiation, the star hasn’t yet appeared alongside other actors on the lines.

Of course, he’s voiced his support of the cause and has offered to throw money at the situation but he, like many other big names, hasn’t made a physical presence in the fight.

The guild has had several rounds of negotiations break down with the studios with the latest one, on October 11, not only ending early but crashed and burned with the studios and streamers calling Crabtree-Ireland to tell him that negotiations would be “suspended.”

As productions continue to be put on hold, it’s only a matter of time before studios really begin to see the loss of profit as their titles are pushed further and further back. Even if the extra cash given by George Clooney and the rest of Hollywood’s top stars doesn’t necessarily put an end to the strike, it was still a show of support to those on the front lines.