Square image of Teresa Jusino (a brown Latina with long, black hair in pigtails) from the nose down showing off her t-shirt. The t-shirt is black and reads "WGA & SAG & IATSE & TEAMSTERS & DGA."

Here’s How Fans Can Show Solidarity With WGA and SAG-AFTRA Members on Strike!

I’m a union member (IATSE Local 871) for my work in TV production. Up until the current Writers Strike, I’d been working toward a TV writing career and membership in the WGA. I also used to be an actor and am currently a background performer, though I’m not a SAG-AFTRA member. I understand first-hand how the Writers Strike, and now the Actors Strike, impacts the lives of those in the entertainment industry and the economies of entire cities where productions are filmed.

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The AMPTP could end these strikes if they wanted to.

Square image of Teresa Jusino (a brown Latina with long, black hair in a ponytail) holding a picket sign that reads "Writers Guild of America" on top, and then "Give in now while our demands are still REASONABLE!" handwritten on the bottom.
I didn’t write this sign, but I stand by its message. (image: Teresa Jusino)

Contrary to what Disney CEO Bob Iger had to say about being “disappointed” in the writers and actors for their “unrealistic” requests, these strikes are necessary. The AMPTP insists on holding out as long as it can so its member companies aren’t legally bound to pay their workers fairly, even while reaping the significant financial benefits of their labor.

The AMPTP is well aware that it unfairly pays its workers. With that knowledge, it anticipates that the unions will cave first when their members are in dire financial straits due to crappy pay. Meanwhile, the AMPTP executives know they have the money to weather the storm.

What they don’t get is that writers and actors are used to living below their means and needing supplemental employment. The terrible system under which they work has trained them for this, as they often have to make a 4-8 weeks’ worth of pay stretch for a year or longer! What might seem like a terrifying financial prospect to a corporate CEO is just another day for a freelancer, so the writers and actors are absolutely capable of holding out.

That’s because actors and writers were already holding out under untenable, unsustainable conditions before the strikes! What they’re doing now is what they, on some level, have already been doing during the past few years of their contracts. Not to mention the past decade of streamers gutting the industry in which they used to be able to make a reliable living.

Despite that, they can use all the help they can get.

How can fans help support workers affected by the strikes?

Square image of Teresa Jusino (a brown Latina with long, black hair in pigtails) holding a picket sign that reads "Writers Guild on Strike!" on top, and then "Netflix - we knew you were trouble when you walked in!" handwritten on the bottom.
My sign from a Taylor Swift-themed picket at Netflix in L.A. (image: Teresa Jusino)

Wanna help your fave actors and writers hold out in the face of corporate greed to achieve the fair pay and respect they deserve? Here’s a list of actions you can take:

Donate your time and physical selves!

Go to a picket, grab a sign, and march alongside WGA and SAG-AFTRA members! You don’t have to be a union member to attend, and having numbers boosts the morale of the picketing union members. Picketing also shows companies that the unions have lots of support from those who subscribe to their services and pay for movie tickets! There are pickets in Los Angeles and New York, as well as in other cities nationwide! For picketing information and schedules, you can visit each union’s strike site:

If there are services you can offer, whether you’re a union member or not, you can reach out via the sites above and let them know how you can volunteer your time, talents, and resources. If they have a need, they’ll let you know!

Donate money to established funds!

Donate to any of several funds that exist to support workers in the entertainment industry. They include:

  • The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly the Actor’s Fund): the ECF is a respected, long-standing organization providing “programs that foster stability and resiliency, and provide a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.”
  • The Motion Picture & Television Fund: the MPTF “supports working and retired members of the entertainment community with a safety net of health and social services.”
  • The Hollywood Support Staff Relief Fund: Pay Up Hollywood, founded by writers Liz Hsiao Lan Alper and Deirdre Mangan in 2019, focuses on the abuses and pay inequities faced by Hollywood assistants. They, in partnership with the ECF and Women in Film, created this relief fund specifically for those who are lowest on the industry ladder and mostly not covered by any union.
  • The Union Solidarity Coalition: founded by “writer/directors who were moved to connect with crew affected by the 2023 WGA strike,” TUSC is the newest kid on the block, but their Strike Fund is specifically geared toward crew members in IATSE and the Teamsters (the labor union representing freight drivers and warehouse workers, among others, both in and outside entertainment) who will be losing their health insurance due to the work stoppage.

Donate food and water (or other supplies) to picketers!

If you don’t have time to picket, but you want to help in a tangible way, picketers are always in need of cold water and snacks/lunches! If it’s within your budget, and you can make the trip, connect with any of the following organizers to bring these items yourself or contribute financially to those who are!

  • Pre-WGA Strike Support is a grassroots, POC-run effort to organize support from those who aren’t yet in the WGA but want to support their future union (as well as help fight for a future for their chosen career path!). But, of course, you don’t have to be a writer to help! They have a great Pre-WGA Support Sheet listing everything from coffee, pizza, and ice cream funds to ways to volunteer as a hydration responder or provide items specifically requested by WGA coordinators. DM them to make sure the info is accurate, as things can change from day to day.
  • If you do attend a picket, speak with a Strike Captain or a WGA or SAG-AFTRA volunteer at the sign-in table and ask what their site’s needs are! Whether you want to bring a couple of cases of cold water, splurge on a bunch of pizzas or snacks, bring early morning boxes of coffee, or provide sunscreen, the volunteers will tell you how best to do that! You can also reach out via the unions’ respective strike sites above!

EXTRA CREDIT: Get activist-y about it!

In a post-lockdown world, the average person has come to recognize that no job is worth either their physical or mental health or their general well-being and dignity. If you’re inspired to latch onto this pro-labor moment by supporting the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, you might consider doing any of the following:

  • Write to AMPTP member companies, especially if they make shows/films you love and/or you subscribe to their streaming services. The AMPTP represents over 350 TV and film production companies, but the ones that matter most in this context are Paramount, Sony, NBCUniversal, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, Apple TV+, and Amazon Studios. Let them know you’re a viewer who supports the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Suggest they put pressure on their fellow AMPTP members to resolve the strikes with a fair deal for their workers, or it might impact your viewership. Every company has a website that will either have a “Contact Us” page or an “About Us” page that will offer a mailing address. Write to them via whatever online form they have, a customer service email, or if you’re feeling feisty, look up their corporate mailing address and send them a piece of mail they have to open.
  • Write to advertisers on your fave shows or films, especially if they’re a company whose product(s) you actually use. Let them know you’re a customer who noticed their ad on X show/film, and that you support the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Suggest they put pressure on the AMPTP member companies to resolve the strikes with a fair deal for their workers, or it might impact your view of their product(s). PRO TIP: make sure you write to the parent company. Let’s use Skittles as an example! You see a Skittles ad on your favorite show on Hulu. A quick Google search will tell you that Skittles is owned by Mars, Inc. Then it’s the same deal as the companies above.
  • Since these strikes are labor actions, and these unions are national organizations, write to your congressperson. Tell them that you are a voter, what zip code/district you live in, and express your support of the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes. Encourage them to put pressure on the AMPTP to resolve the strikes with a fair deal for their workers, or it might impact your vote/support in upcoming elections. You can use the Find Your Representative function on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

There are plenty of ways for fans of all abilities, income levels, and skill sets to show solidarity with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA members on strike. So, what are you waiting for?

(featured image: Teresa Jusino)


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Author
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.