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Streep, Kidman, Jackman Among Million-Dollar Donors to Actors’ Strike Fund

By Jake Beardslee · August 3, 2023

In brief…

  • Hollywood's top actors, including George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Nicole Kidman have donated more than $15 million to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to support striking actors.
  • The donations provide emergency financial assistance to union members facing economic hardship as a result of their strike for better wages and benefits.
  • SAG-AFTRA has seen a surge in financial aid applications from hard-pressed actors.
Marquee Hollywood stars have donated millions to support striking actors.  Eden, Janine and Jim/Wikimedia

Several of Hollywood’s biggest stars have stepped up with major donations to support struggling union members as they strike for better pay and creative rights in an industry known for poor wages and uncertain careers.

George Clooney, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are among the bold-faced names who have contributed $1 million or more to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Other A-listers, including Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey, have also made sizable donations.

To date, the foundation has raised more than $15 million for an emergency financial assistance program available to SAG-AFTRA members struggling financially for months as they take on the powerful, well-heeled motion picture industry.

“I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line,” said Meryl Streep of her early career challenges in a press release regarding the fund. “In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath.”

SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance said the foundation now receives roughly 400 applications per week for emergency aid, more than 30 times the usual volume.

The strike, which began last October, has brought Hollywood film and television production to a virtual standstill as the union seeks a new contract guaranteeing them better compensation and working conditions.