Paul Dano shares his support for the WGA strike abroad as well.
The actor, writer and director revealed during the 2023 Cannes Film Festival press conference that he is set to join wife and fellow filmmaker Zoe Kazan “on the picket” after serving on the Cannes judging panel.
“My wife is currently staking with my six-month-old, strapped to her chest,” Dano said. “I’ll be there on picket line when I get home.”
The Writers Guild of America strike began May 2 after six weeks of unsuccessful negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the likes of Netflix, Disney, Apple, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Amazon and other. The writers are calling for better pay, residual facilities, and protection against AI as a replacement tool for their work, among other concerns. Multiple productions stopped in solidarity with the demonstrations.
Dano wrote and directed the independent film ‘Wildlife’ together with co-writer Kazan, who also wrote the film ‘Ruby Sparks’. Both of Kazan’s parents, Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, are also screenwriters, with his grandfather being Hollywood legend Elia Kazan.
Similarly, Cannes Film Festival jury president Ruben Östlund addressed the current ban on protesting on the Croisette.
“I think it’s great that people have a strong collegial feeling so that people can go out and go on strike. I’m definitely pro,” the writer-director said of the WGA strike. “I argue that they are, it’s one of the great things about the festival that the world looks up to you and you can say the things you want to say.”
The Cannes Film Festival has also been met with digital outcry over the inclusion of troubled filmmakers like Maïwenn with her opening night film ‘Jeanne du Barry’ starring Johnny Depp. The Oscar-winning actor won a defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard in 2022, claiming he lost his job following allegations of her abuse. Heard fans have since started the #CannesYouNot social media campaign calling the festival to “support the harassers for 76 years”.
French actress Adèle Haenel has also criticized the French film industry for protecting “sex offenders”.
Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux supported the inclusion of ‘Jeanne du Barry’, saying: ‘I don’t see Maïwenn’s film as a controversial choice at all, because if Johnny Depp had been banned from working it would have been different, but this is not the case. We only know one thing, it’s the justice system and I think he won the lawsuit. But the movie is not about Johnny Depp.
Reporting by Eric Kohn.