“Hellboy” actor Ron Perlman fired up cross-industry laborers on strike at the SAG-AFTRA and WGA Day of Union Solidarity rally in Burbank Tuesday, giving a passionate speech that called the Hollywood studios back to the negotiating table.
“Let us tell you how much we appreciate you for the resources you’ve given us to do our thing, and you motherf–kers tell us how much you appreciate us for giving you your bottom line,” he quipped.
“Enough is enough,” Perlman said. “No matter how much you motherf–kers get, it’s never gonna be enough. So come back to the table. Throw your arms around us.”
Perlman began his reliably fiery speech by reflecting on his background with labor and unions, shouting out his parents and how he got to where he is now.
“My parents were union people. We were lower middle class, New York City. Didn’t have a summer home. Didn’t have a yacht. Didn’t have anything but love and humor, which is what got me here today,” Perlman began. “There’s always been a tension between management and labor. We can see it today here and we can see it everywhere we turn. They just somehow feel that they deserve all the toys. The f–ked up thing is, however much they take will never be enough.”
“What they need to do is make us feel small, devalue us, gaslight us with the thought that if we don’t walk in line lockstep, we can be replaced because any motherf–ker could do what we do. I don’t think there’s anybody here that wants a golden parachute or even knows what the f–k that is. Or wants stock options, or wants to buy one company and then fire 15,000 people so the two companies with less workers looks better on the bottom line,” he added. “I don’t think anybody here wants to do that. All we want to do is tell stories about human beings.”
He continued: “We tell stories about humanity, which is what we all do, which is what we love to do, which is what many of us do for free. If they want to dehumanize us — doesn’t make any sense.”
Perlman then borrowed a phrase made popular by embattled former President Donald Trump.
“Anyway, it was labor that built the middle class in this country. It was the middle class in this country that, to borrow a phrase, made America great. It wasn’t the top 1%. They were never in the middle class,” Perlman said. “They’ll never know what it’s like to work a 14-hour day. So you can come home at the end of the day and put food on the table and maybe put your kids through school and maybe retire with dignity, that’s what the middle class does. Nobody wants a motherf–king golden parachute. So we’re living in this state of complete gaslighting trying to convince us, ‘Well this is the truth,’ when we know it’s not. And goddammit we’re here because we’re not gonna take it anymore, are we?”
Watch Perlman’s full speech in the video above.
For all of TheWrap’s strike coverage, click here.