Marvel and “Barbie” star Simu Liu hopes the return of the AMPTP to negotiations with the Writers Guild of America ends the strike for the right reasons.
Liu, who has also recently starred in “One True Loves” and appeared on “The Other Two,” picketed Amazon Studios in Culver City on Wednesday.
“I think a willingness to come to the table is always a good thing. I hope they follow through. There’s been a lot of things that have been said, from the AMPTP side that have not been encouraging or things that have been floating around,” he told TheWrap in an interview you can watch below. “The fact that they’re willing to come to the table, I think is a good sign. I think I think everyone who is out here on the picket line is unanimous and that we all share a hope that the strike will end, but it needs to end on the right terms, it needs to end for the right reasons, and that’s that everybody feels like they’re getting a fair deal. And then if the AMPTP are willing to do that and come to the table and have a serious discussion, then we hope that it goes well.”
Liu happened to attend the day of a Taylor Swift-themed merch stand at Amazon studios. Coordinated by WGA captain Jeane Phan Wong, the strike T-shirts themed to Swift’s lyrics, albums and eras raise money for the Entertainment Community Fund.
“I’m thinking I might do a couple rounds on this and then change shirts,” Liu said. “My favorites are ‘Pay Now (WGA Version),’ ‘Look What You Made Us Do’ and of course ‘Play stupid games, Win stupid prizes.’”
Other options for purchase include a play on Swift’s “Love Story,” which features the image of a handshake surrounded by the words “It’s a Fair Contract, Baby, Just Say Yes” and a shirt themed to Swift’s “1989” album with the signature polaroid picture, captioned “W.G.A.” and “2023” in Sharpie. Liu thinks Swift — who is undergoing a protest process of her own rerecording her past albums to own the rights to them — quietly supports the double strike in Hollywood.
“I think you’d have to ask her. If I were to guess I would say that she’s definitely a woman of the people, but I also don’t want to put words in her mouth,” he said. “I feel like in my heart of hearts, I know that she’s a supporter.”
Wong has brought three previous merch stands to the picket lines.
“We sold shirts and friendship bracelets for the Entertainment Community Fund because we knew how much, especially in those early days of the pickets, the fact that the Writers Guild — we took this action on, but it impacts other unions,” Wong told TheWrap. We didn’t want to — I know social media can be really misleading with pickets. It looks like we’re having fun, especially if we’re dancing Taylor Swift, so we wanted to have a component of the picket where essentially it’s labor taking care of each other.”