Tom Cruise attempted a real-life mission impossible ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strike going into effect.
Cruise, 61, met with both the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) about various issues between the two organizations ahead of the breakdown of contract negotiations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to asking the AMPTP — which represents the major studios including Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony — for performer protection against generative artificial intelligence and proposals on behalf of stunt coordinators and performers, the actor encouraged SAG-AFTRA to allow members of the guild to continue promoting their new projects even in the midst of the strike.
Cruise was traveling the world promoting his latest film, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One when SAG’s strike took effect on July 14, and THR reports he was most prominently concerned with overall box office results, something that will inevitably be affected by the lack of PR in a post-pandemic world.
Earlier this month, SAG — which represents more than 160,000 TV and film actors — voted to on strike after the AMPTP did not reach an agreement on fair wages, residual payment snap artificial intelligence in the industry. The labor union joins the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who also previously voted to go on strike in May after their contract negotiations with the studios also broke down.
According to SAG’s current rules, actors and performers are barred from participating in any publicity that promotes struck work including interviews, press tours, conventions and meet-and-greets.
Cruise has been a longtime proponent of the theatre-going experience. He fought to hold Top Gun: Maverick — a film that garnered six Oscar nominations including Best Picture — from theaters amid the COVID-19 quarantines. When the Top Gun sequel was finally released in 2022, it brought in $1.5 billion worldwide. This year — along with Mission Impossible — he has encouraged fans to go out and see fellow summer blockbusters Barbie and Oppenheimer when they release on July 21.
“This summer is full of amazing movies to see in theaters. These are just a few that we can’t wait to see on the big screen,” Cruise wrote via Instagram in June alongside a series of photos of himself in front of Barbie and Oppenheimer posters. “I love a double feature, and it doesn’t get more explosive (or more pink) than one with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.”
SAG-AFTRA often calls on performers during negotiations to discuss issues with which they have experience. Any member is allowed to request to address a specific negotiation and the guild, for their part, can evaluate if having them participate would be valuable to the conversation. According to THR, Cruise was the only high-profile star to participate in negotiations ahead of the strike.