Viola Davis Steps Away From Upcoming Project Despite Waivers

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Viola Davis’ departure from the “G20” production signals a strong message of solidarity amidst ongoing industry strikes, despite the film being among many independent productions granted a waiver by SAG-AFTRA to proceed with filming.

The political thriller was set to be produced by Davis, with her company JuVee Productions backing the film alongside Amazon Prime who was set to distribute the film. Although the agreements grant independent productions to proceed with filming, it allows major Hollywood studios to distribute the films.

“I love this movie, but I do not feel that it would be appropriate for this production to move forward during the strike,”  Davis said in a statement according to reports. “I appreciate that the producers on the project agree with this decision. JuVee Productions and I stand in solidarity with actors, SAG-AFTRA, and the WGA.”

The actress was met with praise from fellow colleagues, including Yvette Nicole Brown who urged other actors to follow in her path. 

Following her decision, SAG-AFTRA sent a message to its members Sunday evening justifying the interim agreements that allow films and TV Shows to run and addressed the backlash of the agreements.  “We are confident that the terms of this agreement, particularly the streaming revenue share, will make distribution of these projects through AMPTP platforms unfeasible, until such time as an industrywide agreement has been reached,” the message states.

The Committee added that they “encourage SAG-AFTRA members to work on the projects that obtain an interim agreement”  and that the terms of the agreement “reflect”  the ongoing demands that SAG-AFTRA is seeking from the AMPTP.

Viola Davis is among the few actors to speak out since the strike commenced in mid-July. Following the WGA strike, both strikes aim to negotiate with Hollywood studios for livable wages and jobs, as AI and streaming services threaten the industry.