Tom Cruise-1689760443952
Tom Cruise attends the premiere of the film 'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One' in New York, on July 10, 2023. Image Credit: REUTERS

Although the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes have only gripped Hollywood recently, the strike combined with the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strikes have basically frozen the industry.

Many actors and directors, too, have lent their support to the strikes, with even ‘Mission: Impossible’ star Tom Cruise zooming into a June negotiating session, urging the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to hear out the guild’s concerns.

As reported by ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, apart from the guild’s concerns regarding the increasing role of AI in writing scripts and the reducing residual income, the ‘Mission: Impossible’ star also wanted to urge the AMPTP to support the guild’s position on stunt performers.

Cruise also had some words for SAG-AFTRA representatives regarding the delicate position of post-pandemic theatres.

Read more:

THR further added in its report, that SAG-AFTRA sometimes calls in performers during negotiating sessions to discuss issues of their specialisation.

Apparently, the guild concluded that Cruise’s point was indeed noteworthy.

Proposals for stunt professionals

SAG-AFTRA had a handful of proposals on the table concerning stunt professionals, including stunt coordinators and stunt performers, which the 160,000-strong union represents.

The union also sought to institute more guardrails on the use of generative AI in entertainment in its 2023 talks with studios and streamers, focusing on ensuring that performers give consent and are appropriately compensated when their performances are ingested into the technology.

However, the AMPTP failed to reach a colony with the unions leading to the strikes, which began on July 14 as writers and performers began picketing at studio lots and corporate headquarters in New York and Los Angeles while putting their own work on hold.

This has frozen several big projects, including ‘MI8’, ‘Andor 2’ and ‘White Lotus 3’.

One of the biggest advocates of theatrical experience, Cruise’s thoughts on the industry’s path moving forward through its bunch of problems have long been closely examined and have been validated by directors and producers in the past.

The most recent example of this is when the actor fought against distributors to release ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ theatrically amid the pandemic.

This was indeed a success for the star as the film grossed $1.4 billion (Dh5.14 billion) at the box office and garnered six Oscar nods.

In addition to lobbying studios and streamers on behalf of SAG-AFTRA, Cruise is also said to have asked the union to consider allowing actors to promote their films during a strike given fragility of post-pandemic movie theatres, reminding his union that promotion matters to actors, too.