Jennifer Lopez is helping provide financial support to striking SAG-AFTRA performers.
As the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue, the 54-year-old Puerto Rican superstar is among a list of some of the most influential names in the entertainment industry who are giving hefty donations to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program.
On Wednesday (Aug. 2), SAG-AFTRA Foundation president Courtney B. Vance announced that the Emergency Financial Assistance Program has raised more than $15 million in the past three weeks. The SAG-AFTRA foundation has served as an independent charity since 1985, and provides relief aid to eligible SAG-AFTRA performers in unexpected financial crises.
Lopez and hisband-actor Ben Affleck are among the top donors who’ve given $1 million or more. Others include are Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively and Luciana and Matt Damon.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was the first to donate a seven-figure sum, Vance previously announced in late July.
According to Vance, “The entertainment industry is in crisis and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is currently processing more than 30 times our usual number of applications for emergency aid. We received 400 applications in the last week alone.”
While top-earning actors such as Lopez — who has had a successful career in music and film — and husband Affleck have ample economic security, this is not the case for the majority of working actors, hence their decision to strike. Vance continued, “Our Emergency Financial Assistance Program is here to ensure that performers in need don’t lose their homes, have the ability to pay for utilities, buy food for their families, purchase life-saving prescriptions, cover medical bills and more … For more than 38 years, the Foundation has been a safety net for our community during its most challenging times, and much like the COVID pandemic, this work stoppage magnifies the precarious living conditions and financial distress of many actors living paycheck to paycheck.”
Members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are demanding a larger share of streaming residuals, increased job security for writers, larger writers’ rooms and a limit on the use of AI in screenwriting and background acting among other negotiating points.