The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Assistance Program has raised over $15 million since the actors’ union went on strike on July 14.
Hollywood A-listers who have each donated $1 million or more so far include George and Amal Clooney, Luciana and Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey.
“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,” SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance said in a statement. “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.”
Vance noted that Johnson helped kick-start the campaign with a “historic seven-figure donation,” while 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,” Vance added. “Our fundraising will continue in order to meet the overwhelming needs of our community now and in the future.”
In a statement, Streep reflected on her “days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line.” She said that she is “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,” she added. “I am proudest of my fellow actors who have immediately offered to fund the Emergency Financial Assistance Program.”
Clooney added that union members “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,” he continued. “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.”