The only strikes I really enjoy are actors’ strikes. Teachers’ strikes leave me cold. Train strikes get me into a cold fury. But there are few more enjoyable spectacles in life than members of the acting profession making demands which – if left unmet – will see them refuse to work.
My first urge is always to clasp my head in my hands and in my best South Park voice scream: ‘You mean no movies with Susan Sarandon for six months? Nooooo.’ Then there’s the fact that most of the strikers haven’t seen work in years. Last month there was an actors’ picket line in New York, one of the leaders of which was someone best remembered for appearing in a musical almost 30 years ago. Manning a picket line is the most work he’s had in years.
Still, you would have thought that at such a time those actors who are in work, and the studios themselves, might seek to ingratiate themselves with the public. Or at least try.
In which case let me introduce you to Rachel Zegler. As well as supporting the strikes, the 22-year-old actress has been doing the publicity rounds ahead of the release of Disney’s new Snow White movie, due to open next year. Although her father is of Polish descent, Zegler identifies as ‘Latino’, and that in itself is one of those modern Hollywood pokes-in-the-eye. For of course Disney, like all Hollywood, believes it is its duty to root out racists and other bigots. If the studio had cast Snow White as a white girl, they would fear they were helping along white supremacy. Instead, they cast a non-white girl, as if to say: ‘Take that all you white supremacist bigots who hoped that Snow White would fit your racist archetypes.