On Monday, those taking part in the SAG-AFTRA protest outside Netflix's New York headquarters were joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The congresswoman expressed her support for the movement, and vowed to stand by those working in the entertainment industry in their fight for better pay and protection in the age of streaming and artificial intelligence.
While Ocasio-Cortez's presence was lauded by those in attendance, she was criticized on social media for standing with Hollywood while ignoring the needs of her own constituents.
"We have workers all across the country who are either currently on strike or gearing up to be on strike," Ocasio-Cortez said, "because at the end of the day we are all confronting the same challenge, which is an unacceptable, unprecedented concentration of wealth and corporate greed in America."
She went on to explain that the only way to "bust that up" was via "direct action," suggesting that the Netflix and other entertainment giants needed to be shown that the workers are stronger than CEOs.
"If they leave the job, life goes on, but if we leave the job, everything comes to a halt," she said.
The strike began in May when writers walked off the job. They were soon followed by actors and other crew members. As a result, Hollywood has ground to a halt, with numerous movies and TV shows pausing production for the foreseeable future.
Ocasio-Cortez added that if SAG-AFTRA or WGA calls on Congress to help, then "that's something we should absolutely consider," but reiterated that until then "we gotta get out of their way and let the workers do their thing."
"AOC is picketing now so that overpaid Hollywood elitists can get even more money," one user tweeted in response to the event, "yet she drove Amazon out of NYC which cost her constituents 40K good-paying jobs."
He went on to suggest that she "only cares about people with glitz and glamour — but not the hardworking people who got her elected."
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