Black Lives Matter (BLM) co-founder Patrisse Cullors has demanded that the entertainment industry go on strike in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, arguing that “Hollywood can really show up in this moment.”
“I think it’s time for talent, writers, executives, the guild and SAG to show up for Black lives as well,” Cullors said. “Join this strike. Now is the time and our movement is really looking to unions to step in in a particular way and say ‘We’re going to hold back on allowing for the exploitation and the degradation of Black communities to continue under our watch.’ I think Hollywood can really show up in this moment.”
Cullors, who is also a playwright, made the remarks in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game on Tuesday after Blake was shot seven times by police. The strike led to other teams from Major League Basketball, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer to join in the boycott.
Cullors didn’t explain how a Hollywood strike would look but said BLM leaders are currently in discussion with some industry executives to establish what would be possible.
“People are tired of having to say the same thing over and over again, and not seeing the change that we deserve from either party, frankly,” she says. “I think the work that we’re up against right now is to ensure that we can get Trump out of office, but also ensure that we can get the Democratic Party to truly create policies that will make sure that Black people are protected from vigilantes and from police torture.”
However, the feasibility of Cullor’s Hollywood strike demands remain in doubt. After months of a coronavirus lockdown, the entertainment industry is now gearing itself up to reopening movie theaters. Major networks are also announcing the return of shows and their production.
A Hollywood strike would also inflict major harm on the industry’s economy and further harm already out of work blue-collar workers, many of whom are black, whose livelihood has already been badly affected by the global pandemic.