Dwayne Johnson has been electrifying fans worldwide for decades, and now he has decided to direct some of that electricity toward his fellow actors. Variety reports that Johnson has donated a seven-figure sum to the SAG/AFTRA Foundation Relief Fund, which was set up during the pandemic to help union actors out of work. The Fund is now used for actors who have gone on strike and may require financial assistance. The exact amount of Johnson’s donation is not being made public.
The grants that the SAG/AFTRA Foundation Relief Fund awards are usually capped at $1,500 but in some “extreme cases” where there are health issues, or some other issue that puts the actor at risk, they can receive up to $6,000. Cyd Wilson, SAG/AFTRA Foundation executive director, estimates Johnson’s donation will aid around 7 – 10,000 members needing those services.
“It is a call to arms for all of us to know that we just have to step up however you can,” SAG/AFTRA Foundation president Courtney B. Vance said. “If your step up is $10, step up. Because that $10 is going to help somebody. If it’s $10,000, if it’s $10 million, step up, because we have to.
“Everyone knows what happens when you go on strike, when you stand for something — as the saying goes, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything — you can’t stand unless you have support underneath you, on the side, up top and up front. So Dwayne is letting everyone know, ‘I’m here. What are you going to do?’”
SAG/AFTRA currently represents around 160,000 working actors, and, at the moment, there does not seem to be an end in sight when it comes to the dual actors’ and writers’ strikes taking place in Hollywood. Among the many issues at the center of the strike is the use of AI in Hollywood, with both unions feeling the major production companies will try to replace or significantly devalue them.