- Affleck and Damon offered to pay the writers on Jimmy Kimmel Live! during the strike, showing their awareness of the struggle of working writers.
- Other A-list Hollywood names like Streep, Jackman, Johnson, Kidman, and DiCaprio have also shown their support by donating to the Entertainment Community Fund.
- The support of successful actors like Affleck and Damon is crucial for the strikes to gain momentum and challenge the power of major Hollywood studios.
Actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon offered to pay the writers on Jimmy Kimmel Live! during the writers’ strike. Beginning on May 2, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike has now been ongoing for just over four months. The WGA has since been joined by the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, and the two unions now fight together on the picket lines as they face ever-stubborn studio executives.
During the Strike Force Five podcast (via IndieWire), Kimmel revealed that Damon and Affleck once stepped in to help the writers of late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. According to him, the two actors stepped forward with an offer to pay the show’s staff for two weeks combined. While Kimmel was appreciative of the offer, Kimmel turned it down due to his feeling that it was not Affleck and Damon’s responsibility to pay the staff. Kimmel elaborates below:
“Ben Affleck and the despicable Matt Damon contacted me and offered to pay our staff for two weeks. A week each, they wanted to pay out of their own pockets our staff.”
How Big Name Actors Have Been Involved In The WGA & SAG-AFTRA Strikes
Calling Damon “despicable” is a joking reference to the ongoing comedic feud between the actor and Kimmel. In offering to pay his staff, Damon extended the olive branch to his feigned nemesis. Even if Kimmel did ultimately turn it down, the gesture by Damon and Affleck shows the actors’ awareness of the struggle of working writers to support themselves as the WGA strike rages on.
Affleck and Damon are not the only A-list Hollywood names to show their support for both WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Since the WGA strike first began in May, millions of dollars have been donated to the Entertainment Community Fund, which helps provide emergency financial assistance to actors and behind-the-scenes creatives. Several big names have donated to this fund, including Affleck and Damon, alongside other Hollywood mainstays such as Meryl Streep, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
It is crucial that successful actors, such as Affleck and Damon, continue to rally their support to all WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikers. While it can be easy to think of only the movie stars when considering notable actors, SAG-AFTRA also includes copious background actors and lesser-known talents that depend on union benefits for survival. The support of big names–whether standing on the picket lines or offering to pay Jimmy Kimmel Live salaries–is crucial for the strikes to gain the necessary momentum and reach a fair deal with the AMPTP.