Mark Ruffalo is looking to return to his indie roots during the SAG-AFTRA strike.
For the first time since 1980, the actors’ union has issued a work stoppage order against studios after the union did not reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
“The Kids Are All Right” actor and Marvel star Ruffalo took to Twitter to encourage fellow stars to prioritize indie filmmaking over allegedly mishandled mega-studio productions that drive the wealth disparity in Hollywood.
“How about we all jump into indies now?” Ruffalo wrote. “Content creators create a film & TV-making system alongside the studio & streaming networks? So there is actual competition. Then we just do what we always do — create great content & they can buy it, or we take it out ourselves & WE share in those sales.”
Ruffalo added of studio executives, “They’ve created an empire of billionaires & believe that we are no longer of value. While they hang out in the billionaire boy summer camps laughing like fat cats, we organize a new world for workers.”
The Oscar-nominated star continued, “One sure way to strengthen our hand right now is to become very supportive & friendly to all independent projects immediately. Push every SAG-AFTRA member to join the ones that get SAG-AFTRA (WGA) WAIVERS immediately. The studios have no competition — this will change that. Share profits. If the project does well, everyone does 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 statements that an impending SAG strike would be “very disturbing” and “disruptive” to the economy. The “Nanny” actress slammed Iger, calling the executive “out of touch.”
Ruffalo’s series of tweets led to a slew of celebrities and indie filmmakers responding. Susan Sarandon replied, “Was just saying this. Didn’t [Matt] Damon start an ind[ie] studio? Exciting time to reorganize, new system. Share profits. The question is distribution.”
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Artists Equity production company, as Sarandon referenced, aims to give artists a larger share of streaming profits, a key issue being negotiated by SAG. “Gilmore Girls” star Sean Gunn, “Orange Is the New Black” actress Kimiko Glenn, and “Reservation Dogs” actress Jana Schmieding all recently shared their respective issues with minuscule residuals from streamers.