Mark Ruffalo is trying to get back to his indie roots during the SAG-AFTRA strike.
For the first time since 1980, the actors union issued a layoff order against the studios after the union failed to reach a settlement with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP).
‘The Kids Are All Right’ actor and Marvel star Ruffalo took to Twitter to encourage other stars to prioritize independent cinema over allegedly mismanaged mega-studio productions driving wealth disparity in Hollywood.
“How about we all switch to the indies now?” Ruffalo wrote. “Do content creators create a film and TV production system together with the studio and streaming networks? So there is real competition. So we just do what we always do: We create great content and they can buy it, or we mine it ourselves and share those sales.
Ruffalo added of the studio execs: “They’ve created an empire of billionaires and they think we’re no longer worth it. While they go off to billionaire kids’ summer camps laughing like fat cats, we organize a new world for working people.”
The Oscar-nominated star continued, “One surefire way to strengthen our hand right now is to immediately become very supportive and friendly with all indie projects. Push every SAG-AFTRA member to join those who immediately get SAG-AFTRA WAIVERS (WGA). The studios have no competition: this will change things. Share the profits. If the project goes well, everyone goes well. This will also help our fellow filmmakers ‘The Crew’, who we love, to keep working. This is also part of #Solidarity. We have to take care of each other.”
Ruffalo tagged SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in his post. Drescher recently criticized Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger’s claims that an impending SAG strike would be “very disturbing” and “disruptive” to the economy. The “Nanny” actress lambasted Iger, calling the executive “out of this world.”
Ruffalo’s series of tweets elicited a response from a number of celebrities and independent filmmakers. Susan Sarandon he answered, “I was just saying this. (Matt) Damon didn’t open an ind(ie) studio? Exciting moment of rearrangement, new system. Share the profits. The issue is distribution.”
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s production company Artists Equity, as Sarandon referenced, aims to give artists a larger share of streaming profits, a key issue negotiated by SAG. “Gilmore Girls” star Sean Gunn, “Orange Is the New Black” actress Kimiko Glenn, and “Reservation Dogs” actress Jana Schmieding recently shared their respective issues with tiny streamer leftovers.