Entertainment

Juliette Lewis supports the IATSE strike and calls on actors to speak up about poor work practices

Juliette Lewis has made it clear that she stands in support of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees strike.

On Friday the 48-year-old actress called out her fellow actors in a very long Instagram post addressing the unsavory work expectations in showbusiness.

Sharing with her 1.1 million followers she started the statement, ‘Hello fellow actors – you should talk about how it’s been normal to work 15-17 hour days, sometimes 6 day weeks.’

Standing her ground: Juliette Lewis has made it clear that she stands in support of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees strike

The Yellowjackets actress reflected back on her long career: ‘I personally was conditioned in TV/film business since a teenager to never take a sick day off, or it would cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

‘And you’d be labeled “problematic,” so much so I’ve worked through a flu I’ve worked through migraines I’ve worked through walking pneumonia on Natural Born Killers for two weeks where I thought I might die…’

She continued, ‘Apparently that was always better than speaking up and having them simply shift their schedule around to accommodate a person’s health. Because it just didn’t happen.’ 

A nationwide strike is set to begin October 18 if an agreement isn’t reached by then.  

Call-out: On Friday the 48-year-old actress called out her fellow actors in a very long Instagram post addressing the unsavory work expectations in showbusiness

Call-out: On Friday the 48-year-old actress called out her fellow actors in a very long Instagram post addressing the unsavory work expectations in showbusiness 

Addressing the strike: Sharing with her 1.1 million followers she started the statement, 'Hello fellow actors - you should talk about how it's been normal to work 15-17 hour days, sometimes 6 day weeks'

Addressing the strike: Sharing with her 1.1 million followers she started the statement, ‘Hello fellow actors – you should talk about how it’s been normal to work 15-17 hour days, sometimes 6 day weeks’

The brunette beauty commented that she’s ‘actually thankful for this work ethic’ as it has ‘served me in many areas of my life’ before she continued, ‘but I am an actor so when I think of the crew who shows up hours before actors do and leaves hours after actors do and are asked to work miracles daily that’s a whole other story that goes beyond a soldier like work ethic and that’s why all you have to do is read some of the stories.’

Going on, Lewis referenced instances of ‘people dying behind the wheel’ because they were overworked. 

Also mentioned was the tendency for employees to work with the threat of being replaced if they didn’t ‘serve the production.’

‘I have seen some major changes since COVID protocols and how long the hours are and taking care of people’s health. But that’s been in Canada,’ she acknowledged.  

‘Producers are still asking human beings to work tirelessly and work miracles constantly to “save them money” rather than create schedules that are doable without their constant pressure,’ she added.

‘When people are overworked and exhausted huge mistakes happen,’ Lewis stressed before adding that she has ‘experienced’ incidents ‘that harm individuals.”

The longtime entertainer said, ‘I thought it was being worked out and got educated that producers, bosses, execs are not giving the crew the kind of care they need in their requests in the negotiations therefore.’

Official document: A nationwide strike is set to begin October 18 if an agreement isn't reached by then

Official document: A nationwide strike is set to begin October 18 if an agreement isn’t reached by then

In her caption Juliette said plainly and using all caps, ‘I stand in solidarity with the backbone of this industry my crews for the past 30+ years and more to come. Every actor needs to speak up and show up for your crew.’

Wrapping up the message, she said, ‘Even though I love how hard we work to bring people entertainment and I love being challenged on how to pull the impossible for over 30 years I have wanted better care for myself and the miraculous crews I’ve seen thanklessly perform daily miracles weekly miracles without the protections that I had.

‘I implore every actor to speak up on behalf of your crew and ask that execs & producers properly support the health/care/pay and prevent the necessity for a strike. Show up for the backbone of our industry. [It’s] about time it’s overtime!!!’

Pending: If an agreement isn't reached, 60,000 employees could potentially halt production in Hollywood and beyond

Pending: If an agreement isn’t reached, 60,000 employees could potentially halt production in Hollywood and beyond

If an agreement isn’t reached, 60,000 employees could potentially halt production in Hollywood and beyond. 

The IATSE aims to improve ‘excessively unsafe and harmful working hours,’ ‘unlivable wages for the lowest paid crafts,’ and ‘consistent failure to provide reasonable rest during meal breaks, between workdays, and on weekends,’ according to a statement on the website.

Matt Loeb, the president of the association, said the union ‘will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale,’ Deadline reported.

Call to action: In her caption Juliette said plainly and using all caps, 'I stand in solidarity with the backbone of this industry my crews for the past 30+ years and more to come. Every actor needs to speak up and show up for your crew'

Call to action: In her caption Juliette said plainly and using all caps, ‘I stand in solidarity with the backbone of this industry my crews for the past 30+ years and more to come. Every actor needs to speak up and show up for your crew’


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