“Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan told the audience at the film’s London premiere Thursday night that stars of the film had left the premiere to “write their picket signs” as part of their involvement with the Screen Actors Guild strike.
In a video shared by Deadline, Nolan made the comments shortly before the strike was officially announced.
The BBC confirmed that actors Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy were among those who walked out.
Earlier, Blunt told Deadline at the premiere’s red carpet that they were prepared to walk off.
“I think right now we are just sorting of … I hope everyone makes a fair deal, and we are here to celebrate this movie. And if they call it, we’ll be leaving together as cast in unity with everyone … We are gonna have to. We are gonna have to. We will see what happens. Right now, it’s the joy to be together,” she said.
They are among some 160,000 performers joining the picket line after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers fell apart Thursday. SAG members have been seeking new terms on minimum pay, residuals for shows on streaming services, pensions and the use of artificial intelligence, among several other issues.
“The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us,” Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA president and iconic star of the ’90s sitcom “The Nanny,” said in a statement. “Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal.”
This is the first SAG strike since 2000 and the first time in about 60 years that both the actors’ union and the Writers Guild of America members have been on strike at the same time. The latter has been picketing for more than two months.