During the “Rock the City for a Fair Contract” protest rally held in Times Square on Tuesday, Bryan Cranston, a well-known actor, captivated the audience with a powerful speech that resonated with hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and union supporters. Cranston emphasized the importance of upholding the dignity and right to work for actors despite the ever-evolving landscape of the entertainment industry.
One of the key issues Cranston discussed was the potential threat posed by artificial intelligence (AI) to actors’ jobs and casting costs. He shed light on the looming danger of AI technology replacing human actors and diminishing the need for casting, which would inevitably impact the livelihoods of many within the industry. These concerns have taken center stage in the ongoing negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
A Direct Message to Disney CEO Bob Iger
Directly addressing Disney CEO Bob Iger, Cranston made a heartfelt plea. “We don’t expect you to understand who we are,” Cranston stated. “But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots. We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity! We are union through and through, all the way to the end!”
The Need for Adaptation
While currently on a break from work, Cranston stressed the necessity for the entertainment industry, particularly the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), to adapt to the changing times and address present concerns. Streaming residuals and the increasing use of AI as a storytelling tool were among the issues he underscored as crucial points for discussion. Cranston firmly believes that instead of clinging to outdated economic systems, it is essential for the industry to embrace progress and move forward.
An Impressive Display of Solidarity
The SAG-AFTRA protest rally drew an impressive crowd, attracting esteemed actors and industry professionals. The attendees included Steve Buscemi, Wendell Pierce, Christian Slater, Christine Baranski, Stephen Lang, Tituss Burgess, Michael Shannon, BD Wong, Brendan Fraser, Jessica Chastain, Matt Bomer, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Corey Stoll, among others. The presence of these prominent figures within the entertainment world showcased solidarity and support for the cause.
Bryan Cranston’s speech at the SAG-AFTRA protest rally delivered a resounding message to Disney CEO Bob Iger and the entire industry. Cranston, alongside fellow actors and union supporters, highlighted the importance of safeguarding the dignity and right to work for actors amidst a rapidly changing landscape. The impact of artificial intelligence and the need to adapt to modern times were crucial topics addressed during the rally. With the gathering generating significant attention and participation from prominent figures within the entertainment world, it is evident that the fight for fair contracts and the preservation of actors’ rights is far from over.