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Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Strikers attract star support
Hollow Man star Kevin Bacon
Hollow Man star Kevin Bacon in defiant mood in New York
Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks and Paul Newman turned out to lend their support to the US actors' strike.

The three high-profile Hollywood stars were among a number of well-known screen names who joined rallies held across the country by union members involved in a pay dispute with advertisers.

The demonstrations were held on Wednesday, the day federal mediators attempted to kickstart negotiations over payments for TV ads, stalled since July.

The Green Mile actor Hanks addressed a crowd of around 1,000 people in Los Angeles.

Green Mile star Tom Hanks
Green Mile star Hanks speaks to demonstrators in LA

He urged advertisers to negotiate a fair contract with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) - the two acting unions involved in the dispute.

"Actors are the best bargain in the advertising business. We bring life to words on a printed page," Hanks said.

In New York, where the strike negotiations were held, screen legend Newman and Hollow Man star Bacon attended a rally down Sixth Avenue.

They were joined by Tin Men actor Richard Dreyfuss, alongside Thelma and Louise star Susan Sarandon.

Deep End of the Ocean star Treat Williams told the strikers that he survived being out of work for two years by doing TV commercials.

He then led the crowd in a chant of: "Show the commercial; show me the money."

Discussions

Members of the SAG and the AFTRA - which together represent 135,000 actors - have been on strike since 1 May.

Their dispute is over "pay-for-play" residuals, which is the extra money paid to actors each time their commercial is broadcast.


Screen legend Paul Newman was also in New York

The strikers want this system extended to cable TV ads, which currently pay a flat rate. They also want jurisdiction over commercials shot for the internet.

The advertisers however want to scrap the "pay-per-play" system altogether and instead pay actors a flat rate for all their ad work.

Other high-profile stars who have previously shown support for the strike include American Beauty actor Kevin Spacey.

He donated $100,000 (70,000) to the striking actors' relief fund.

Spin City star Michael J Fox was one of many actors who wore gold ribbons at last weekend's Emmys as a sign of allegiance.

However, British actress Liz Hurley and golf star Tiger Woods are among a number of other well-known names who have broken the strike by filming commercials.

At the close of the strike talks on Wednesday, the two sides had agreed to continue talking for at least another day.

In a joint statement, the actors and the ad industry said: "The parties agreed that the talks were conducted in a businesslike manner and agreed to continue the discussions on Thursday."

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See also:

12 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Spacey boosts strikers' fund
22 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Sports stars break Hollywood strike
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