Hollywood Strikes End in Grand Style
In a surprise appearance at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., former President Obama celebrated the conclusion of Hollywood strikes during a screening of the Netflix biopic "Rustin." The event, held on the opening night of the Historically Black College and University First Look Film Festival at the Oprah Winfrey Theater, drew a diverse audience, including students from Morgan State University, Bowie State University, and Howard University.
Obama expressed his joy at the increased turnout post-strike, stating, "It's great to see even more of you since the strikes are over," as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Notable attendees included Susan Rice, the president's former National Security Advisor, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the current White House Press Secretary.
The Hollywood strike, lasting six months, involved over 60,000 SAF-AFTRA members and screenwriters, marking the first joint strike since the 1960s. The recent resolution resulted in a groundbreaking three-year contract valued at over a billion dollars. This agreement encompasses improved wages, a greater share of streaming revenue for performers, and enhanced protections against artificial intelligence.
President Obama, recognizing the importance of workers' rights and personally invested as the father of a screenwriter, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement. "I am glad that both the actors and the writers came to an agreement that recognizes their worth and their work," he stated.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama also addressed the audience, emphasizing the film's portrayal of civil rights leaders. She highlighted the significance of "Rustin," the latest film from the Obamas' Higher Ground Productions, as it sets the stage for the March on Washington, contributing to the cultural narrative and commemorating historical milestones.