Celebrity auction has US actors offering to do housework, walk dogs amid strike

Key Points
  • Actors are auctioning off their services to raise money for coworkers.
  • It comes as mass strikes have halted production in the film and television industries.
  • Signed merchandise items are also being sold off until 22 September.
Have you ever wanted Lena Dunham to paint you a bespoke mural in your home, or have Natasha Lyonne help you solve the New York Times crossword?
The far-fetched offerings will become a reality for people who buy them at auction.
Dunham and Lyonne are among a group of actors including Adam Scott, Busy Phillipps, John Lithgow, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, who are auctioning off their services to raise money for production crew staff who face losing health insurance due to industry-wide strikes.

The cast of animated series Bob’s Burgers are offering to write you a personalised song, while Parks and Recreation star Scott will walk LA-based dogs.

Merchandise items at auction include a fedora hat signed by singer Tom Waits, a chef’s apron signed by The Bear cast members Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri, Parker Posey-signed memorabilia from her films Dazed and Confused and Party Girl and a Girl skateboard deck signed by skateboarder Mike Carroll and movie director Spike Jonze.
“There are many conversations going on around this strike,” said filmmaker Alma Har’el.
“But the only thing that has given me true hope and continues to inspire me every day is the work I get to do with my fellow filmmakers under The Union Solidarity Coalition (TUSC). What started as a brainstorm in a WGA-DGA (Writers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America) WhatsApp thread is now an active community that focuses on bringing solidarity amongst all the unions.”

Acting guilds have called the strikes, seeking to address issues brought about by the dominance of streaming services, which have exacerbated pay and production issues.

A group of people holding posters and smiling.

Cast and writers from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul pose on a picket line outside Sony Pictures studios. The film and television industries remain paralyzed by Hollywood’s dual actors and screenwriters strikes. Pictured from left are Patrick Fabian, Rhea Seehorn, Norma Maldonado, Aaron Paul, Peter Gould, Betsy Brandt, Matt Jones, Charles Baker, Jesse Plemons and Bryan Cranston Source: AAP / Chris Pizzello/AP

Top stars have refused to promote upcoming projects since the SAG-AFTRA actors union joined striking Hollywood writers and walked off the job on 14 July.

Big productions including Dune: Part Two and a Lord of the Rings animated film have pushed back release dates as a result.
“We founded TUSC because, as striking writers, we feel an incredible kinship with the crew (IATSE. LiUNA and Teamsters) that make our jobs possible—and right now they are hurting, especially when it comes to healthcare,” said actor Lena Dunham in statement.
TUSC has previously raised over US$300,000 ($466,000) for workers on strike.

The auction runs until 22 September after which winners will be announced.

Source link