Monday, July 15, 2024

John Cussack criticises studio greed; rallies in support of WGA, SAG-AFTRA strikers

 The ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA have frozen Hollywood which has led to the delay and even cancellation of various projects and panels. Many actors and directors have supported the strike which includes John Cussack, who has criticised the greed and uncaring attitude of big studios, as well as their over reliance on AI to get rid of many writers in order to cut costs.

As reported by Variety, the ‘Con Air’ actor wrote on social media: “Studios wanna have extras work one day, scan them – own their likeness forever – and eliminate them from the business.”

Cusack further wrote about how the studios want to use AI to get rid of certain acting jobs. “Do you think they will stop with extras ? That’s what AI is – a giant Copyright identity theft.”

The actor then proceeded to share a story about starring in Cameron Crowe’s classic 1989 teen romance film ‘Say Anything’, saying that he received no percentage of the box office and that the studio lost $44 million.

“The greed is almost a legendary comic trope,” Cusack wrote. “One fun fact – when I was a youngin- I did a film (with a boom box) and somehow I got points – net not gross.”

He further mentioned: “Never expected to see any money – but the film became quite famous – so about 10 years ago – I looked again at the financial statements they were obligated to report – and to my shock – they claimed they had LOST 44 million dollars on the film.”

He added: “I thought wow, I almost bankrupted Fox! (not really). The film cost about 13 million to make – and money spent to release was minimal at the time – 30 years in – that film lost millions every year ! A neat accounting trick don’t ya think?”

Cussack also called the studios a ‘criminal enterprise’, claiming that they will eliminate background actors and writers within a decade or so through the use of AI and then not pay them their dues.

He also shared a video of SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher who said: “We are the victims here. We are being victimised by a very greedy entity. I cannot believe it, quite frankly: How far apart we are on so many things. How (the studios) plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It is disgusting. Shame on them.”

Some of the halted projects and cancelled panels include big projects such as delaying of ‘Andor’ Season 2 and ‘White Lotus’ Season 3, and the cancellation of the ‘Dune Part 2’ comic con.

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