Breaking Bad Actors, Writers Team Up 'in Solidarity'

'Better Call Saul' team members also join picket line as Hollywood strikes continue
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2023 9:30 AM CDT
Bryan Cranston on Picket Line: We're 'Backbone' of Hollywood
Bryan Cranston, left, and Aaron Paul, cast members from "Breaking Bad," strike on a picket line outside Sony Pictures studios on Tuesday in Culver City, California.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

A familiar group of faces popped up on the picket line Tuesday outside of Sony Pictures Studios: cast members from the AMC hits Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, per the Hollywood Reporter. Bryan "Walter White" Cranston was there, as were Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman), Jesse Plemons (Todd Alquist), and Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler), among others, to express support for all the actors and writers affected by the Hollywood walkouts. "We're here in solidarity with all of us, with all of our brothers and sisters who are affected by this," Cranston said to those gathered outside of Sony. "We are all the backbone of our business."

Among the sticking points with the group: artificial intelligence, as well as issues that have emerged in the age of streaming services like Netflix, which picked up both shows. "I don't get a piece from Netflix on Breaking Bad ... and that's insane to me," Paul noted, per the AP. "I think a lot of these streamers know that they have been getting away with not paying people a fair wage, and now it's time to pony up." Cranston also addressed the topic of AI, pointing out a line that actors want included in their new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios.

"This contract will have a sentence in there that states, 'Actors must be human beings,''' he said, per THR, calling the fact that this even needs to be stated "mind-boggling." "We have to step in and say, 'You are dehumanizing the workforce and it cannot continue.'" Cranston—who called the strikes, which began in May for Hollywood writers and July for actors, a "watershed moment"—stressed, however, that they aren't meant to demonize the studios. "We're not making them the enemy, they're not villains," he said. "These are people we all will be working with once again at some point. We just want them to see reality and fairness and come back to the table and talk to us." (More Breaking Bad stories.)

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