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Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson has made a “historic” donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to support performers affected by the Hollywood strike.
The ‘Fast and Furious’ star has made a seven-figure donation to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Foundation Relief Fund, for actors who will face “financial ruin” due to the strike in Hollywood.
As per ‘Variety’, Johnson’s generous donation was in response to a letter sent by the foundation’s president Courtney B Vance and executive director Cyd Wilson to 2,700 of the union’s highest-earning actors in the film industry.
Shortly after sending the letter, Dwayne Johnson’s team reached out to Vance to say he wanted to help, and the two spoke on the phone.
“It was a love fest. It’s like, ‘Man, you’re stepping up in a way that is allowing others to know the dire necessity of it,’” Vance told Johnson about his contribution to the fund, noting that the exact sum is being kept confidential, but he was heartened by the A-lister’s generosity. “This is him saying, ‘In such a time as this, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere, whatever you need me to do.’ And that sends a huge message to other folks to do the same thing.”
SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s executive director Cyd Wilson said: “It’s the largest single donation that we’ve ever received from one individual at one time. And what is amazing is that that one cheque is going to help thousands of actors keep food on their table.”
“This donation is the kickstart we needed in the first week of what we think will be a long haul”, he added.
Vance said: “I want to thank Dwayne for his tremendous generosity, compassion, and initiative to step up in this significant and meaningful way for our community. On behalf of the thousands who will be helped by his historic donation, thank you.”
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation, originally established in 1985 by the Screen Actors Guild, is a non-profit organisation running a variety of assistance programmes for union members.
As per ‘Variety’, Wilson said many SAG-AFTRA members face “financial ruin” during the strike, and that even before the strike began the foundation was receiving “five to 10 times (the number of requests for financial aid) that we would normally process in a week and (we) think that is going to continue to increase”.
Johnson’s upcoming project includes a live-action adaptation of ‘Moana’, currently in development at Disney, where he will reprise his role as Maui in a new thrilling adventure.