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George Clooney, Meryl Streep among ‘highest-earning’ actors donating to SAG emergency fund during strike

By Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

(CNN) — George Clooney and Meryl Streep have made significant donations to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) emergency fund as the actors’ strike continues.

A news release on Wednesday stated that with the help of “some of Hollywood’s top-earning stars,” the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has raised over $15 million and is preparing to bring aid to actors in the union facing economic hardships as a result of the ongoing strike.

“In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath,” Streep said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will stand strong together against these powerful corporations who are bent on taking the humanity, the human dignity, even the human out of our profession.”

Along with Streep and Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Dwyane Johnson and others have each made donations of $1 million or more to the fund, according to the release.

Actor Courtney B. Vance, the foundation’s president, said in a statement that Johnson gave an “historic seven-figure donation,” and that Clooney and Streep “stepped up with $1 million donations, emails, and many calls to action rallying others to give generously.”

“We stand ready to get back to the table and make a fair deal with the AMPTP,” Clooney said on Wednesday, referring to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the organization representing the major studios and streamers.

He added, “Until then, I’m proud to be able to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and my fellow actors who may be struggling in this historic moment.”

The fund is set up to provide aid to applicants among the union’s 160,000 members who went on strike last month after failing to reach a deal on a new contract with AMPTP. SAG-AFTRA members joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on the picket lines, who have been on strike since May.

CNN reported on Tuesday that AMPTP has asked the WGA back to the negotiating table in the first known talks since the strike began nearly 100 days ago, but there are no talks scheduled yet with SAG-AFTRA.

“Our Emergency Financial Assistance Program is here to ensure that performers in need don’t lose their homes, have the ability to pay for utilities, buy food for their families, purchase life-saving prescriptions, cover medical bills and more,” Vance said.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nicole Kidman have also each contributed to the fund with donations of $1 million or more.

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