Jessica Chastain is equating the ongoing SAG and WGA strikes in Hollywood to a hypothetical involving America’s other pastime: baseball.
In a TIFF red carpet interview with eTalk TV in the below video, Chastain explained the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike and interim agreements for the production and promotion of independent films.
“I’m going to explain it to you in baseball terms. You got the Major Leagues (AMPTP). You got Derek Jeter, all the guys, and they’re like, ‘We’re not happy with their contracts, we’re going to strike.’ The Minor Leagues show up (independent productions) and say, ‘Hey, guess what? We’re going to give you the contract you want!’” Chastain said.
Those contract requirements, per Chastain’s video, include wage increases, protection against the use of AI, boosts in residuals from streamers, and better healthcare and retirement benefits.
Chastain continued, “So the players go, ‘You know what? We’re not going to work for the Major Leagues, we’re going to go work for the Minor Leagues.’ Who do you think the audience goes to see? And now all of a sudden, the Major Leagues don’t have any power.”
The Oscar winner captioned the video, “Giving you a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement play by play. Journeymen actors, crew members etc, are urged to work in and support SAG-AFTRA’s approved projects. As the AMPTP refuses to negotiate, they should be the only ones in our industry out of work. The success of Interim agreements should inspire them to do the right thing. Hope the AMPTP gets back to the negotiating table soon, but until then, it’s the Minor League’s time to shine.”
The “Memory” actress previously revealed that she was “incredibly nervous” to attend the Venice Film Festival amid the strikes despite earning an interim agreement to promote the indie film.
“Some people on my team advised me against it,” Chastain said, adding, “I’m very aware of how lucky I am. It’s a wonderful profession what we get to do as actors. And we are quite often, because of that, made to feel like we have to be quiet in order to protect future working opportunities. And we are often told and reminded how grateful we should be. That is the environment that I think has allowed workplace abuse to go unchecked for many decades. And it’s also the environment that has saddled members of my union with unfair contracts.”
Chastain and “Memory” director Michel Franco have already shot another film, the indie “Dreams,” under an interim agreement and with a non-WGA script.