CHICAGO — Hundreds of actors and writers on strike rallied in Chicago’s Daley Plaza Friday.
The demonstration comes as the writers union was set to meet with the group that negotiates on behalf of the major entertainment companies.
SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors and performers, lead the rally.
The union has been on strike for more than 20 days after they were unable to reach a contract agreement with AMPTP which represents major Hollywood studios.
As actors joined writers who have been on strike for months, production of dozens of tv shows and movies has been on hold.
Several well-know actors like Sean Astin of “Goonies” and “Rudy” joined the picket line in Chicago. His mom, Patty Duke, was once the president of SAG-AFTRA and now he sits at the negotiation table.
Union representatives say they feel what they are asking for is reasonable and fair. The union wants a contract with a higher pay, regulation and protection from the use of artificial intelligence and more structure on residual pay.
“They don’t have anything without us, so we deserve, we’re entitled to, we should be paid in success a little bit. We should have some continuing financial participation in the products we create. Does that sound unreasonable?” Astin said.
State leaders also speaking at the rally and pointed out the 30% tax credit Illinois gives production companies that film here was meant to be beneficial to all.
As actors continue to strike, writers were set to resume conversations with AMPTP as the Writers Guild of America nears their hundredth day on the picket line.
SAG-AFTRA has 160,000 members including actors, stunt performers, puppeteers and broadcasters.
Union representatives said they will continue to strike until a fair deal can be negotiated.