Hollywood actor Jason Sudeikis did not shy away from saying who he believes does the work in Hollywood and who are the “parasites.”
On Friday, two days after SAG-AFTRA, the union representing tens of thousands of actors, ended a four-month strike and reached a tentative deal Wednesday with entertainment companies, Sudeikis began by saying he was “delighted” the strike was over. Then he went on.
“I’m delighted that the strike’s over,” said Sudeikis, a native of Overland Park, Kansas, who was in Kansas City to host a Saturday fundraiser that raises money to buy prosthetics for amputees with little or no health insurance. “On behalf of the two unions I’m part of but also then on everybody — the entire group of people, men and women, white collar, blue collar, behind the scenes, above the scenes, below the scenes, every which way — all getting ready to come together and, you know, kick it back up.”
“It is a remarkable thing that happens — having been involved in making movies and TV shows — the way all these different people have a common goal and try to get it done. And I’m glad that some of the folks that hold and control the purse strings have, you know, loosened their grip on it a little bit and let all those folks get back to work.
“Because those are the people who make that stuff. And the people that, you know, get to suck off that stuff, you know, parasites if you will, it’s nice of them to, you know, take a little less for themselves and give it to the people that actually do the work.”
He lauded unions in general.
“And in every industry, anybody that’s being — It’s , it’s as much of a pandemic as the one that we all collectively went through on this earth. It’s happening everywhere, especially in this country. And I encourage and applaud all unions to get together, stand strong and fight the good fight, not just for themselves, selfishly, but for the next union and, you know, for their children. The same thing we do here and for all charitable endeavors, to help people you probably will never meet.
“I hope that a generation from now, the people that work in our industry and other industries that have the same situation, are better off for the people sticking up for one another, at this level, at this time.”
He punctuated his remarks with laugh.
“We’re really sticking it to the man today,” he said. “Look at us.”
Sudeikis’ comments came during a press conference Friday morning at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, which on Saturday is scheduled to hold its seventh annual Thundergong! (exclamation point in the name) fundraiser to support the Steps of Faith Foundation. Over the last six years, the music/comedy/variety show event has raised more than $2 million to purchase prosthetics for amputees with little or no health insurance.
The organization is run by Sudeikis’ friend, chief executive officer Billy Brimblecom, a drummer who lost his left leg to Ewing Sarcoma in 2005. The event each year features numerous music and acting stars including members of the Ted Lasso cast, such as Brendan Hunt who played Coach Beard and Sam Richardson who played tech billionaire Edwin Akufo. For the first time this year, Hannah Waddingham, who played Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond with her powerhouse singing voice, is scheduled to attend.
The Writer’s Guild of America, which represents some 11,500 screenwriters, ended its strike, reaching a tentative agreement with studios on Sept. 24 ending a 148-day walkout three days later.
The SAG-AFTRA strike lasted 118 days, the longest movie and television strike in the union’s 90-year history.