No more Margot Robbie draped in pink dresses and flashing a million-watt smile at Barbie screenings. No more Robert Downey Jr. mugging for the camera on Instagram with Oppenheimer co-stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon.Instead, they’re all off – in the words of director Christopher Nolan – to “write their picket signs” after the Screen Actors Guild announced it will go on strike.
Actors – movie stars and their not-so-famous brethren alike – are prohibited from doing publicity for any of their films, even if unreleased, while the strike is in effect, under SAG rules. That includes promotion at live events like premieres, festivals and conventions, as well as virtual marketing on social media.
That’s the reason the Oppenheimer cast left the movie’s London premiere before the screening began, even though they were at the red carpet earlier.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 13, 2023
The Screen Actors Guild represents 160,000 performers who will be joining a separate strike by writers. The unions haven’t reached a new labor agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, which represents studios including Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co.
As for fans, those who were hoping for a surprise movie-star appearance during Barbenheimer – a double feature of Barbie and Oppenheimer – are likely to be disappointed. Their future entertainment is also under threat, given the Writers Guild of America has already been on strike since early May.
That action has led to disruptions and halts at many projects and threatened the traditional release of new broadcast TV shows starting in September.
Prior to leaving the London premiere on Thursday, Blunt had vowed to support her fellow actors. She told Deadline, “I hope everyone makes a fair deal and we are here to celebrate this movie. And if they call it, we’ll be leaving together as cast in unity with everyone … We are gonna have to. We are gonna have to.”
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