Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama are currently in the middle of a historic union drive. If the majority of workers vote to unionize by the end of the month, they will become the first Amazon warehouse workers in the country to do so, potentially motivating other workers for Amazon—the second largest employer in the country—to follow.
So far, the workers have received messages of support for the union from Sen. Bernie Sanders, other unions across the country, and even President Joe Biden. With the exception of actor Danny Glover, who came to Bessemer to support the union, conspicuously absent from this list of supporters are the Hollywood elite. Actors, directors, writers, and other celebrities who regularly throw their support behind various causes and politicians have so far mostly stayed out of this fight. We’re used to seeing Ashton Kutcher testifying before congress about human trafficking or Gal Gadot and other celebrities singing “Imagine” because of Coronavirus (???), but we have not seen similar public support for one of the highest profile labor fights in the country.
In order to find out their position on this issue, Motherboard contacted 56 actors, directors, and other celebrities, many of whom themselves are union members, to ask if they support the Amazon union in Bessemer, Alabama. Specifically, Motherboard contacted those who have benefited from their relationship with Amazon, namely Amazon Studios, which produces and distributes movies and shows on its streaming service.
Out of the 56 people we reached out to via agents and publicists, only one person expressed their support for the union, and only one other publicist replied. The rest did not respond to our request for comment.
We’ll start with the exceptions. Voting rights activist and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is credited as a producer on All In: The Fight for Democracy, a 2020 documentary and “Amazon Original Movie” distributed by Amazon. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Abrams directed us at her tweet, in which she explicitly and strongly expresses support for the Amazon union.
The only other person to reply to our request for comment was a publicist for Emma Thompson, who starred in the 2019 movie Late Night, which was distributed in the United States by Amazon Studios.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to get a comment from Emma, she is filming and in the UK,” a publicist from Thompson told Motherboard. “I don’t know that she knows anything about this, given that she is in the UK.”
On February 26, the Writers Guild of America East and the Writers Guild of America West published a letter in support of the Amazon workers’ bid to unionize, which so far has been signed by more than 1,700 of its members, including Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, and Alfonso Cuarón. The letter is also signed by writers who worked on movies and shows that were distributed or produced by Amazon, including Hawk Otsby from The Expanse, Scott Brown from Utopia, Nazrin Choudhury from Jack Ryan, and others.
The other 54 people Motherboard reached out to who didn’t reply at all, along with the name of the project that links them to Amazon, is listed below.
- Anna Paquin – Flack
- Nick Frost – Truth Seekers
- Thomas Jane – The Expanse
- Shohreh Aghdashloo – The Expanse
- Rainn Wilson – Utopia
- John Cusack – Utopia
- Karl Urban – The Boys
- Titus Willivver – Bosch
- Lance Reddick – Bosch
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag
- Olivia Colman – Fleabag
- Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath
- Michael Sheen – Good Omen
- Neil Gaiman – Good Omen
- David Tennant – Good Omen
- Al Pacino – Hunters
- John Krasinki – Jack Ryan
- Wendell Pierce – Jack Ryan
- Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Tig Notaro – One Mississippi
- Diablo Cody – One Mississippi
- Gael Garcia Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle
- Gaby Hoffmann – Transparent
- Jay Duplass – Transparent
- Eva Longoria – Sylvie’s Love
- Tessa Thomposn – Sylvie’s Love
- Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
- Jim Gaffigan – Troop Zero
- Nick Cannon – Chi-Raq
- Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night In Miami
- Wesley Snipes – Chi-Raq
- Jennifer Hudson – Chi-Raq
- Emma Thompson – Late Night
- Samuel L. Jackson – Chi-Raq
- Spike Lee – Chi-Raq
- Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
- Mindy Kaling – Late Night
- Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick
- Jack Black – Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
- Tom Holland – The Lost City of Z
- Dakota Johnson – Suspiria
- Steve Carrel – Beautiful Boy
- Robert Pattinson – The Lost City of Z
- Jonah Hill – Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
- Sienna Miller – The Lost City of Z
- Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
- Steven Strait – The Expanse
- Cas Anvar – The Expanse
- Wes Chatham – The Expanse
- Paulo Costanzo – The Expanse
- Florence Faivre – The Expanse
- Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy
- James Gray – The Lost City of Z
- Steve McQueen – Small Axe
- Maura Tierney – Beautiful Boy
- Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
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