Entertainment

Juliette Lewis Shows Support for IATSE Strike, Opens Up About Dark Side of Acting

Juliette Lewis is showing her support for Hollywood industry workers.

On Friday (October 15), the 48-year-old actress shared a statement in support of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), who recently threatened to go on strike due to the poor working conditions they are facing.

In her statement, Juliette also went into detail of the often grueling expectations put on actors by the industry.

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“Hello fellow actors- you should talk about how it’s been normal to work 15-17 hour days. Sometimes 6 day weeks,” Juliette started her message on Instagram.

“I personally was conditioned in TV/film business since a teenager to never take a sick day off, or it would cost tens of thousands of dollars. And you’d be labeled ‘problematic,’ so much so I’ve worked through a flu I’ve worked through migraines I’ve worked through walking pneumonia on Natural Born Killers for two weeks where I thought I might die…” Juliette wrote. “Apparently that was always better than speaking up and having them simply shift their schedule around to accommodate a person’s health. Because it just didn’t happen.”

Juliette then added that she’s “thankful” for the “work ethic” this lifestyle has given her.

“I am actually thank for this work ethic it’s served me in many areas of my life but I am an actor so when I think of the crew who shows up hours before actors do and leaves hours after actors do and are asked to work miracles daily that’s a whole other story that goes beyond a soldier like work ethic,” Juliette continued. “And that’s why all you have to do is read some of the stories you see people dying behind the wheel were overwork and having to transport equipment from location to location with the constant threat that somebody else could do their job if they don’t serve the production.”

Juliette pointed out instances of people being overworked, adding that they are often faced “with the constant threat that somebody else could do their job if they don’t serve the production.”

“I have seen some major changes since COVID protocols and how long the hours are and taking care of peoples [sic] health. But that’s been in Canada,” Juliette said. “…Producers are still asking human beings to work tirelessly and work miracles constantly to ‘save them money’ rather than create schedules that are doable without their constant pressure.”

“When people are overworked and exhausted huge mistakes happen,” Juliette continued, adding that she has “experienced” incidents “that harm individuals.”

“I thought it was being worked out and got educated that producers, bosses, execs are not giving the crew the kind of care they need in their requests in the negotiations therefore,” Juliette wrote.

She then called upon “every actor” saying that they “should be standing up for their crews.”

“You’ve seen them show up hours before you and leave hours after- how we were all thought if I am this overworked and under pressure how are they even standing on 2 feet,” Juliette wrote. “How are they even sleeping because they didn’t even have the SAG protections that we did with the 12 hour turnaround…Even with our turn around we’ve been exhausted and totally overworked so I think about our crews.”

Closing out her statement, Juliette wrote, “Even though I love how hard we work to bring people entertainment and I love being challenged on how to pull the impossible for over 30 years I have wanted better care for myself and the miraculous crews I’ve seen thanklessly perform daily miracles weekly miracles without the protections that I had.”

“I implore every actor to speak up on behalf of your crew and ask that execs & producers properly support the health/care/pay and prevent the necessity for a strike,” Juliette concluded. “Show up for the backbone of our industry. [It’s] about time it’s overtime!!!”

Juliette‘s statement comes after the IATSE threatened to go on strike, unless working conditions improved.

On their website, the union detailed some of those conditions, which include, “Excessively unsafe and harmful working hours,” “Unlivable wages for the lowest paid crafts,” and “Consistent failure to provide reasonable rest during meal breaks, between workdays, and on weekends.”

If they go on strike, this could possibly result in a historic work stoppage in Hollywood, shutting down TV and film productions around the world.


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