Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) spoke out against corporate greed as she walked the picket line with striking actors and writers in New York City on Monday.
The left-wing politician rallied workers outside the neighboring Manhattan offices of Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, where she was joined by AFL-CIO union president Liz Shuler and artists Sandra Bernhard, F. Murray Abraham and Tatiana Maslany.
“Honestly, this is a fight against AI, but more than AI, it’s a fight against greed,” she told a crowd at the demonstration The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a fight against Wall Street, and this is a fight against the endless pursuit of wealth.”
“Direct action gets the goods, now and always,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “The only way we can do that is to show them that we are stronger. That our solidarity is stronger than their greed, that our caring for one another will overcome their endless desire for more.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter after the picket line, Ocasio-Cortez said, “The idea that workplace transformation should effectively unilaterally transform and undermine workers and their wages, with only disadvantages for workers and only advantages for CEOs and shareholders, is dead wrong.”
She later added, “I also think it’s very important for CEOs to understand that there’s only so much you can undermine the fabric of society before it starts to tear. They’re relying on that stuff, too.”
The 11,500 television and film writers represented by the Writers Guild of America began striking in early May after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) stalled.
SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 workers, followed suit in July after its own contract with the AMPTP expired.
Writers and actors are pushing for sweeping modernizations of the Hollywood system, an industry workers say has been turned upside down by the world of streaming services.
The core issues of the unions include final payments (a kind of license fee based on viewership) and setting guard rails for the use of artificial intelligence.