Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Glenn Close and other stars urge union to seek ‘transformative deal’

A yellow pillar with the number "5757" and the letters "SAG-AFTRA" appears in front of a building.
SAG-AFTRA headquarters in Los Angeles.
(Tommaso Boddi / WireImage)
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Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are urging their union to hold the line in contract negotiations and signaled strong support for a strike if necessary.

In a sharply worded letter to the leaders of SAG-AFTRA, more than 300 members of the performers union said they would support a strike if negotiators could not secure a “transformative deal” on a new film and TV contract.

The letter was signed by several high-profile members, including Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Rami Malek and John Leguizamo.


Members of SAG-AFTRA voted by a wide margin to give their leaders authority to call a strike even before negotiations have begun with the major studios.

June 5, 2023

“A strike brings incredible hardships to so many, and no one wants it,” the letter said. “But we are prepared to strike if it comes to that.” They added: “This is not a moment to meet in the middle.”

The letter appeared to be in response to an upbeat video message posted Saturday by SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in which she described contract talks with the studios as “extremely productive,” appearing to suggest that a deal was near and that Hollywood might avert a second strike.

Writers have been on strike since May 2.

“We are concerned by the idea that SAG-AFTRA members may be ready to make sacrifices that leadership is not,” the letter said.

“This is an unprecedented inflection point in our industry, and what might be considered a good deal in any other years is simply not enough,” they wrote.

A spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA declined to comment.

The union and the studios have until Friday midnight to agree on a new contract. SAG-AFTRA has been in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers since June 7.

The union’s members have already voted overwhelmingly to grant their leaders authority to call a strike if they can’t reach a deal, though it’s possible negotiations could continue even after the contract deadline expires.


The actors who signed the letter said they are seeking a “seismic realignment” of minimum pay to combat inflation, an increase in streaming residuals, as well as curbs in the process of self-taping in auditions and protections from artificial intelligence, which they view as a threat to their livelihoods.

“We believe that, if we settle for a less than transformative deal, the future of our union and our craft will be undermined, and SAG-AFTRA will enter the next negotiation with drastically reduced leverage,” the letter said.