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'We’re fighting': Rally in Kansas City held to support SAG-AFTRA strike

SAG-AFTRA strike
Posted at 10:28 PM, Aug 01, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Screen Actor's Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) has more than 160,000 members continuing their strike across the country.

They're calling for fair compensation, transparency and rules for the use of artificial intelligence. At the center of it are people who have had enough.

The support for SAG-AFTRA strike made its way to Kansas City, Missouri, during a rally on Tuesday evening.

"For so long, we've been told, 'You don't talk about your pay,'" said Shannon Laine, an incoming SAG-AFTRA board member.

For months, WGA and SAG-AFTRA union members have been demanding what they say is fair. They said the last time there was a strike of this magnitude it was back in the 1960's.

This time around, actresses like Riley Adams are on the picket line for as long as it takes. At 13 years old, she's just getting started in her career.

"Ever since I was like five, I started in theater," Adams, an actress from St. Louis, said.

Adams had a recurring role in "On Becoming a God in Central Florida" on SHOWTIME.

"I noticed why the movement was happening, because we get paychecks in the mail and it'll be like 15 cents," she said.

SAG-AFTRA is striking they said to change the bad habits of the industry, but also to preserve it.

"If we don't win that battle, we will not see another generation of performers and writers in the film and TV industry and that will be a shame for everybody," said Shelley Waggener, president of Missouri Valley's SAG-AFTRA.

Adams, even as a budding actress, isn't ashamed to join the fight, even if she's advocating for people who she doesn't know.

"I gave you work, I gave you my time and what you perceive as my talent, and this is what you think it's worth," she said. "We're fighting for the rights of writer's and actors, because that's all it is — it's really simple."

Around 40 union members showed up to a rally on Tuesday in support of one another.

"For our brothers and sisters that are losing work," Waggener said.

For those trying to find their way, they hope history will be re-written for the better.

"If things don't change after this, it will probably be hard to see a future after this," Adams said.

The strikes might actually be good news for the Kansas City area as Missouri Gov. Parson signed a bill approvingtax incentives for production companies in Missouri. It goes into effect on Aug. 28.

SAG-AFTRA believes it will bring in more work to local independent filmmakers.