SAG-AFTRA is set to formalize their strike plans on Thursday afternoon, after a midnight deadline on Wednesday passed without a new contract agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike will mark the first time both SAG-AFTRA and the WGA will be on strike together in 60 years and, on Thursday morning, the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” voiced their support for the situation.
As hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski discussed the negotiations, Scarborough explained that “at some point, this really starts to put a dent in the media companies’ bottom line,” but he and his colleagues were totally fine with that, considering it’s happening because actors and writers are simply trying to get fair compensation.
“A lot of people hear these stories, hear us reporting on these stories, and they think ‘Oh, a bunch of actors and screenwriters, they all make a lot of money. You know, good luck to them.’ They don’t,” Mike Barnicle said. “They don’t. Especially the screenwriters, it’s a day-to-day financial existence. A lot of them are nearing financial ruin in this long, long strike.”
Scarborough readily agreed, putting an actual numerical figure to that statement.
“You look at the actors, and people look at people on big movies, you know, Hollywood stars — they don’t realize that 99% of the actors are struggling,” Scarborough said, “to try to get into local theater, try to get into, if they’re lucky, an off-Broadway show, or even a Broadway show. But for most actors, again, it’s a day-to-day existence, a week-to-week existence.”
He added, “So really, Willie, we’re hoping that this is going to get resolved and resolved favorably for the screenwriters and the actors soon.”
Willie Geist added that it really comes down to more than just fair wages too.
“For every Brad Pitt and Scarlett Johansson, there are thousands and thousands of actors struggling, auditioning every day trying to get their next job, and working job to job and they need health insurance,” Geist said. “And they need all the things that the rest of us hope to have and have in our lives. So this is an important negotiation.”
You can watch the full discussion from “Morning Joe” in the video above.