SAG-AFTRA Foundation Call to Help Thousands of Performers in Crisis Answered by Some of the Industry’s Highest-Earning Actors Donating Millions for Emergency Aid
August 2, 2023
LOS ANGELES (August 2, 2023) – SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance announced today the nonprofit has raised over $15 million in the past three weeks for its Emergency Financial Assistance Program. Thanks to the support of some of Hollywood’s top-earning stars, the Foundation is preparing to bring aid and hope to thousands of journeymen actors facing tremendous economic hardship. An independent charity since 1985, the Foundation provides relief aid to eligible SAG-AFTRA performers in unexpected financial crises. To date, the growing list of Patrons of the Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program who have made donations of $1 million or more are:
|George and Amal Clooney||Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck|
|Luciana and Matt Damon||Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively|
|Leonardo DiCaprio||Julia Roberts|
|Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman||Arnold Schwarzenegger|
|Dwayne Johnson||Meryl Streep|
Vance said, “The entertainment industry is in crisis and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is currently processing more than 30 times our usual number of applications for emergency aid. We received 400 applications in the last week alone. Our Emergency Financial Assistance Program is here to ensure that performers in need don’t lose their homes, have the ability to pay for utilities, buy food for their families, purchase life-saving prescriptions, cover medical bills and more. It’s a massive challenge, but we’re determined to meet this moment. For more than 38 years, the Foundation has been a safety net for our community during its most challenging times, and much like the COVID pandemic, this work stoppage magnifies the precarious living conditions and financial distress of many actors living paycheck to paycheck.”
He continued, “I appealed to our community to remember how tough it was coming up, and the response to help their fellow performers has been incredible, immediate and heartwarming. Dwayne Johnson helped kick-start this campaign by giving a historic seven-figure donation. And, two longtime champions of our Foundation and leaders on our Actors Council, Meryl Streep and George Clooney, stepped up with $1 million donations, emails, and many calls to action rallying others to give generously. We’ve crushed our initial goal because our people are coming together, but we still aren’t done. Our fundraising will continue in order to meet the overwhelming needs of our community now and in the future.”
Said Streep, “I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line. In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath. We will stand strong together against these powerful corporations who are bent on taking the humanity, the human dignity, even the human out of our profession. I am proudest of my fellow actors who have immediately offered to fund the Emergency Financial Assistance Program.”
Added Clooney, “We stand ready to get back to the table and make a fair deal with the AMPTP. Until then, I’m proud to be able to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and my fellow actors who may be struggling in this historic moment. We’ve stood on the shoulders of the likes of Bette Davis and Jimmy Cagney and it’s time for our generation to give something back. I can’t thank Courtney enough for his determination in putting this effort together by shedding light on the human toll happening right now, and how we can work together to alleviate some of the pain and suffering.”
To give a donation to the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program, go to sagaftra.foundation/donate.
ABOUT THE SAG-AFTRA FOUNDATION EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program is the only fund dedicated solely to supporting SAG-AFTRA performers in times of urgent need. Emergency Financial Assistance Grants are issued to help with basic living expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, and medical expenses. Additionally, the program provides access to a social worker, additional social services referrals, and free educational opportunities through the Foundation to empower performers during the strike and beyond. For more information about the Emergency Financial Assistance Program and to apply, visit sagaftra.foundation/emergencyassistance.
ABOUT THE SAG-AFTRA FOUNDATION
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides vital assistance and educational programming to SAG-AFTRA professionals while serving the public at large through its Emmy®-nominated children’s literacy program Storyline Online®. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation relies entirely on grants, sponsorships and individual contributions to maintain its free programs and resources, and is the benefiting charity of the annual SAG Awards. For more information, visit sagaftra.foundation.
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