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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

‘Pawnee is a union town’: Parks and Recreation stars reunite for SAG-AFTRA strike

Adam Scott/Instagram

The cast of Parks and Recreation reunited to show their support for the ongoing actors’ strike.

Last month, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined striking film and TV writers in the demand for fairer pay. It is the first time that screen actors as well as writers have simultaneously withheld labour in 60 years, and has resulted in an effective shutdown of Hollywood.

Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Ben Schwartz, Sam Elliott, Jim O'Heir, Retta and Allison Becker all came together on Friday (11 August) to join the picket line outside the Amazon offices in Culver City, California.

Plaza was pictured holding a sign that read, “Ann Perkins works for the AMPTP,” referring to Rashida Jones’ character who is April’s (Plaza) frenemie on the show. The AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) is the trade organisation representing the film studios in their negotiations with SAG-AFTRA.

“Pawnee is a union town,” Retta (who played Donna in Parks and Rec) wrote on her Instagram story, referencing the fictional city in which the comedy series is set.

Some of the cast members had already shown their support. Last week, Scott posted photos of himself and his “boyfriend” Offerman alongside a “bonus Jesse Plemons” protesting outside a different studio.

On his Instagram, Offerman wrote: “It is a privilege to picket in solidarity with @WGAwest seeing new friends and old, all of us labourers striking for fair pay and so much more. If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage, folks.”

Meanwhile, Plaza shared a photo of herself three weeks ago holding a sign that read: “Do you have fair wages? It’d be a lot cooler if you did.”

The actors’ strike is currently in its fourth week after the 160,000 member-strong actors’ union voted to join striking Hollywood writers who are fighting for better compensation and assurances that they will not lose work to artificial intelligence (AI), among other demands.

In an interview this week, Pose star Billy Porter said that he had already had to sell his house as a repercussion of the strikes.

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“To hear [Disney CEO] Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While he makes $78,000 (£61,000) a day? I don’t have any words for it, but: f*** you. That’s not useful, so I’ve kept my mouth shut,” Porter said.

“I haven’t engaged because I’m so enraged. I’m glad I’ve been over here. But when I go back I will join the picket lines.”

He continued: “I was supposed to be in a new movie, and on a new television show starting in September. None of that is happening.

“So to the person who said, ‘We’re going to starve them out until they have to sell their apartments’, you’ve already starved me out.”

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