Dwayne Johnson makes the largest single donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Relief Fund, which will help thousands of struggling actors.
When SAG-AFTRA announced that they would be going on strike, SAG-AFTRA Foundation president Courtney B. Vance and executive director Cyd Wilson knew many members of the union would be facing financial hardship. The non-profit organization provides financial relief to its members but relies on donations and grants to provide its services. According to Variety, Dwayne Johnson has made a “historic” donation to the SAG-AFTRA relief fund, which Vance says is a “call to arms for all of us.“
The exact sum of Dwayne Johnson’s donation is being kept under wraps, but it’s said to be in the seven figures range and represents the largest single donation the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has received from one individual at one time. “This is him saying, ‘In such a time as this, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere, whatever you need me to do.’ And that sends a huge message to other folks to do the same thing,” Courtney B. Vance said.
Vance continued: “It is a call to arms for all of us to know that we just have to step up however you can. “If your step up is $10, step up. Because that $10 is going to help somebody. If it’s $10,000, if it’s $10 million, step up, because we have to. Everyone knows what happens when you go on strike, when you stand for something — as the saying goes, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything — you can’t stand unless you have support underneath you, on the side, up top and up front. So Dwayne is letting everyone know, ‘I’m here. What are you going to do?’“
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation grants can deliver up to $1500 per member, but that can rise to $6000 in cases of serious jeopardy. Cyd Wilson added that while the general public may believe that all actors are millionaires, the majority are struggling just like the rest of us, but are nonetheless a vital part of the movie-making business. “Our stars understand that they cannot make a film without these people,” Wilson said. “Having said that, as you’re saying these people are making, you know, not enough money to even afford their health care. So the majority of our actors are also have second and third jobs — they’re waiting tables, catering, driving Uber. It may not seem like a lot, but when you miss $1,000 to $3,000 a month that you would normally from a work stoppage, that can be a financial ruin.” Dwayne Johnson’s donation will clearly be able to help a lot of struggling performers.
“I want to thank Dwayne for his tremendous generosity, compassion, and initiative to step up in this significant and meaningful way for our community,” Courtney B. Vance said. “On behalf of the thousands who will be helped by his historic donation, thank you, thank you, thank you.” For information on the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program and how to apply, visit sagaftra.foundation/emergencyassistance, and to support the fund, go to sagaftra.foundation/donate.