The ‘Fast X’ star is helping to provide financial assistance for his fellow actors.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is showing up for his fellow actors. The Fast X star has issued a historic seven-figure donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation in an effort to lend a hand to union members who are financially struggling amid the current strike.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation president Courtney B. Vance and executive director Cyd Wilson confirmed Johnson’s generous donation in an interview with Variety, although the exact amount is being kept confidential. The foundation is a non-profit organization that is associated with the SAG-AFTRA union, but not directly a part of it, that works the provide financial relief to union members via its Emergency Financial Assistance Program.
On July 14, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), which represent more than 160,000 film and television actors, officially went on strike after they were unable to reach an agreement with major Hollywood studios and streamers by the July 12 deadline. Because of this, nearly all productions in Hollywood have been forced to shut down, which have already had an immediate impact in the industry with canceled premieres, axed publicity tours, delayed projects and abandoned sets.
As the strike began, Vance and Wilson quickly drafted a letter to 2,700 of the union’s top-earning actors that outlined the financial implications for many of its other members. Johnson’s team quickly reached out to schedule a phone call between the Black Adam star and Vance.
"It was a love fest. It’s like, 'Man, you’re stepping up in a way that is allowing others to know the dire necessity of it,'" Vance said of the A-lister’s generosity. "This is him saying, 'In such a time as this, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere, whatever you need me to do.' And that sends a huge message to other folks to do the same thing."
According to Forbes, Johnson ranked No. 4 on its 2022 list of Highest Paid Entertainers with $270 million in earnings.
Wilson told Variety that the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s grants offer up to $1,500 per individual member, but can issue up to $6,000 in emergency assistance in extenuating circumstances. Johnson’s generous donation could offer support for thousands of actors.
Actors like Jason Sudeikis, Susan Sarandon, Olivia Wilde, Allison Janney, Josh Gad, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Mandy Moore, Ben Schwartz and Sharon Lawrence were among the first stars joining the WGA writers -- who have been on strike since May 2 -- on the picket line beginning July 14. This marks the first time since 1960 two major Hollywood guilds will be striking at the same time.
"This is an inflection point in our industry," George Clooney said in a statement to ET one day after the actors' strike was formally announced. "Actors and writers in large numbers have lost their ability to make a living. For our industry to survive that has to change. For actors that journey starts now."