Matt Damon was ready to bury the hatchet over his long-standing fake feud with Jimmy Kimmel to support the comedian’s late night talk show staff salaries.
According to Kimmel, Damon and Ben Affleck offered to pay the salaries of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” staff writers amid the ongoing WGA strike.
“Ben Affleck and the despicable Matt Damon contacted me and offered to pay our staff for two weeks,” Kimmel said during the recent episode of his “Strike Force Five” podcast with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver. “A week each, they wanted to pay out of their own pockets our staff.”
Fallon responded that Damon and Affleck are “good people” for offering. Kimmel, however, turned it down, saying that it wasn’t the actors’ responsibility to do so.
The “Strike Force Five” podcast recently launched with proceeds from the Spotify show going to the employees of late night shows “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
Kimmel added, “Are you guys getting stir-crazy? Are you ready to go back to work? Because as you know, I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started, and now I realize, like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s kinda nice to work.’ You know, when you are working, you think about not working.”
Kimmel previously kept his staffers on payroll for two weeks during the start of the WGA strike. “Strike Force Five” focuses on the respective comedians’ perspectives on the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes; the series will run for at least 12 episodes, with each host taking turns moderating the panel.
“Oppenheimer” actor Damon previously spoke out about the SAG strike, telling Variety that the strike is “really about working actors” and not celebrity faces of Hollywood.
“It’s $26,000 to qualify for health coverage and a lot of people are on the margins and residual payments are getting them across that threshold,” Damon said. “This isn’t an academic exercise. This is real life and death stuff. Hopefully we get to a resolution quickly. No one wants a work stoppage, but we’ve got to get a fair deal.”
Damon told Deadline on the red carpet that the strike would be “tough” for 160,000 actors in the SAG union. “Nobody wants a work stoppage but if our leadership is saying that the deal isn’t fair, then we’ve got to hold strong,” the Oscar winner said earlier this year. “It’s the difference between having healthcare and not for a lot of actors, and we’ve got to do what’s right by them.”