‘Titanic’ Actress Frances Fisher Calls for Profit Sharing in Picket of Netflix: ‘We Built Those Studios’ (Video)

“We need to be progressive,” the member of the SAG-AFTRA negotiating team says

Frances Fisher at the Netflix picket lines, July 18

“Titanic” actress and SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee member Frances Fisher called for the inclusion of actors in sharing the profits of TV and films with studios and streaming companies.

“We built those studios. Our labor has given the CEOs the millions of dollars that they take home every year, and we get nothing,” Fisher told TheWrap in an interview you can watch below.

Fisher also said the business model for TV shows and films has to make room for writers and actors, especially in terms of streaming residuals.

“The business model has changed so much that it’s left writers and actors behind because the streaming residuals formula is so pitiful,” Fisher told TheWrap. “The whole ploy is ‘we’ve got something new called cable, can you give us a break and we’ll start to out real low. Same thing happened with DVDs and then the streaming residuals. It’s like, ‘Well, we don’t know if this is going to be a valid business model. So we’ll give you a really low percentage’ which has never been raised. We want revenue sharing.”

Fisher picketed Netflix’s studios with her friend, author and 2024 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson.

Some actors have posted their various residual paychecks, the lowest amounting to $0.01, to show how little they benefit from their projects moving to streaming services or re-runs on television. Other concerns that sparked the SAG-AFTRA strike include a call for clear guidelines around AI technology as well as data visibility.

“Our list of demands — every single item on that list is important, and when the AMPTP says we fail to prioritize, it’s all the same,” Fisher said. “We prioritize everything. No category gets left behind.”

Williamson weighed in on the strike as well from the perspective of a writer, though not a Hollywood writer.

“This strike is part of a larger revitalization, regeneration of the United States labor movement, whether it has to do with Amazon, whether it has to do with Starbucks, whether it has to do with what’s going on here in Hollywood,” she told TheWrap. “It’s all part of what is becoming a global movement. All of that is of course repudiation of the overreach of capital during what we are experiencing now which is a second Gilded Age.”

Fisher also described the regressive nature of wealth derived from streaming and production today.

“We negotiate minimums. So for the AMPTP in any way shape or form to say we’re asking for too much, like raising the caps — the limit by which the studios contribute to our health and pension plan,” she said. “Those caps have not been raised in 40 years, so it’s outrageous that they refuse and stonewall us. Let’s just break even here, but we’re going backwards. The minimums they offered us are less than what we were earning four years ago. That’s regressive. We need to be progressive.”

Find all of TheWrap’s strike-related coverage here.