The star-studded cast of Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Oppenheimer made an incredible show of support for the Screen Actors Guild strike by walking out of the film’s London premiere on Thursday. The talent — including Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh and more — initially took over the red carpet for the event, but then promptly left once news spread of SAG President Fran Drescher’s impassioned speech announcing the official strike.
Nolan was addressing the audience inside the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square theater when his cast began to shuffle out of the lobby, per CNN. “We have to acknowledge (that) you’ve seen them here earlier on the red carpet,” Nolan said, as seen in this viral video. He added, “Unfortunately, they are off to write their picket signs for what we believe to be an imminent strike by SAG, joining one of my guilds, the Writers Guild, in the struggle for fair wages for working members of their union.” The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike since May.
Speaking on the red carpet before the walk out, Blunt, who nearly escaped a wardrobe malfunction, said that she and the other cast members were ready to leave once given the green light from SAG, per Deadline. “I think right now we are just sort of — I hope everyone makes a fair deal and we are here to celebrate this movie. And if they call [a strike], we’ll be leaving together as cast in unity with everyone. We are gonna have to. We are gonna have to. We will see what happens. Right now it’s the joy to be together.”
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher: “How they plead poverty that they are losing money left and right when they give $100 millions to their CEOs.”
“If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines” pic.twitter.com/zIIsNQjZHa
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 13, 2023
During the SAG-AFTRA press conference taking place in Los Angeles around the same time as the premiere, Drescher announced the move to strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to work out a new three-year contract failed. “We are being victimized by a very greedy entity. I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us,” Drescher claimed. She also called the AMPTP’s actions “disgusting” and added, “Shame on them! They stand on the wrong side of history at this very moment.”
The strike is set to go into effect at midnight PT Thursday night. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer, the highly-anticipated historical drama about the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant mind behind the atomic bomb, will be released on July 21, 2023.