Union rally held in Los Angeles as part of the 2023 Writers' Strike

Source: Jim Ruymen / UPI / Shutterstock

Union rally held in Los Angeles as part of the 2023 Writers’ Strike

Representatives from SAG-AFTRA and Canadian actors union ACRTA were joined by Patricia Arquette in a protest outside the Toronto headquarters of Amazon and Apple on Saturday morning.

Arquette, who is in Toronto to promote her feature directorial debut Gonzo Girl, which she was cleared to promote through a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement a week before TIFF kicked off, addressed the crowd in support of the work stoppage alongside the union’s executive national director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

The SAG-AFTRA executive said the fate of the strike lay in the hands of the Hollywood companies and said the union would remain on strike until a fair deal could be reached.

Their comments came a day after Crabtree-Ireland took part in an on-state conversation at TIFF in which he said there had been no indication on the part of the studios and streamers to resume talks since the strike began on July 14.

Crabtree-Ireland has said the union is willing to sit down with their counterparts at Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) to negotiate a fair deal as soon as possible.

The Toronto rally took place after an exchange of statements by AMPTP and Writers Guild Of America (WGA) late on Friday night.

AMPTP insisted its studio and streamer members were “aligned” after WGA said backchannel conversations with executives at individual studios indicated “both the desire and willingness to negotiate an agreement that adequately addresses writers’ issues”.

ACTRA members have not worked on commericals for 501 days due to unresolved contract issues with Institute of Canadian Agencies as well as other Canadian advertisers.