Adam Driver shared his frustration with the big streaming services that are not cooperating with the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
“Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for — this is pre-negotiations — the dream version of SAG’s wishlist, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t,” Driver, 39, said during a Thursday, August 31, press conference at the 2023 Venice Film Festival.
He continued: “Every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has agreed to these terms – the interim agreement – it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people that they collaborate with, and the others are not.”
Driver is one of the few A-list stars attending the film festival this year, which began on Wednesday, August 30, and will run up until Saturday, September 9. The attendees were granted an interim waiver by the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) for their independent movie projects amid the ongoing strike.
Driver’s is attending the festival to promote his newest film Ferrari. The drama follows the life of Italian sports car entrepreneur, Enzo Ferrari and is an independent film put on by Neon and helmed by Micheal Mann.
“When this opportunity came up, it seemed like [an] understanding [to[ the interim agreement,” he explained at the press conference about his desire to sign on for the project. “It’s a no-brainer for all these reasons why you want to support your union and I’m here because of that, to support and stand in solidarity with them by showing and just further proving the point that [it] is really is about the people you make [the film] with and that's very resonant with our movie.”
Driver also noted that while filming the independent project, members of their crew — including some of the catering staff — would step in to do some background work. He expressed how “important” it was for him “to show up for” those unsung heroes.
“The origins of the movie and the content of the screenplay and the movie that you saw do not fit into the kind of film that would be embraced by the conventional studio system,” Mann explained earlier this month. “It’s truly appropriate that it is an independent film being distributed by Neon, a very independent distributor.”
SAG-AFTRA has been on strike since July, while the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) has been marching the picket lines since May. Both labor unions authorized their respective strikes due to similar issues with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — which represents the big Hollywood studios including Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Universal and more.
Neither group could get the AMPTP to reach an agreement on fair wages, residuals and the use of artificial intelligence in the industry. Many stars have taken to the picket lines to express their support for their respective unions and fight for what they deserve.