It’s been 117 days since actors with SAG-AFTRA started walking the picket line, and Tyler Perry wants to know why the union is still on strike.
The director, writer, and actor addressed the work stoppage on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in an interview with CBS Mornings. During the conversation, Perry questioned why SAG-AFTRA leaders haven’t yet agreed to a new contract with studios, streamers, and production companies.
“It’s really important to know when we’ve won. This is only a three-year deal. In two years, two-and-a-half years, we’ll be renegotiating again,” Perry said. “So we have to know when have we won, and when have we won, for now?”
The media mogul added that in business negotiations, you don’t always get everything you ask for.
“If I had ran my business trying to get everything at once, I wouldn’t be here. I’ve got as much as I can for now, so let’s see what we can do next,” he stated.
Media mogul @tylerperry’s life is the subject of a new documentary called “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story,” which was directed by the mother of his son.
He shares why he hopes it inspires viewers — and how his mother was his motivation for much of his career. pic.twitter.com/inz81zTfwT
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) November 7, 2023
Still, Perry praised SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, the union’s chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and the negotiating team seated across the bargaining table from members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the companies.
“As we’re looking at all of this and as we’re negotiating, it is so important that Fran Drescher, Duncan Ireland, the whole negotiating committee have done a fantastic job moving this forward,” he said. “They have gotten this way further than anybody thought we could get it.”
Perry noted that he closed his sprawling studios in Atlanta in solidarity with striking actors and Hollywood writers (who ratified a new contract last month).
The filmmaker said he made the decision to shut down even though Georgia is a right-to-work state, which prevents public and private unions from requiring employees pay union dues even if their work falls under union rules.
The Family That Preys director revealed he’s held food drives and fundraisers to help people affected by the strikes, but said it’s been “debilitating” for those not working.
SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP are said to be very close to agreeing on a contract. The two sides have been holding round-the-clock negotiations over the past few days. Late tonight, the union released a statement saying the talks would continue Wednesday.
Union leaders called the strike on July 13. During the announcement, Drescher blasted studio executives, saying they “plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right, when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs.”
Perry was actually at CBS to discuss the new documentary on his life, Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story. He also fired back at African Americans who criticize his work as low-brow, calling them “hoity-toity negroes.”
Watch the interview with Tyler Perry above.