Temperatures and tempers surrounding the SAG-AFTRA strike are flaring up — literally.
On Monday, stunt actor Mike Massa, who was Harrison Ford’s stunt double in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, lit up the crowd at a union-member protest site by lighting himself on fire.
Massa and fellow stunt performer Elena Sanchez uploaded the spectacle to Sanchez’s Instagram yesterday, captioning the video, “We are tired of being burned by the AMPTP.” (Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers.)
Following the stunt, Massa posted a thank you to those who helped him: “We wanted to make a statement, and I think we did! It was great to see such a great turnout from our local Stunt community, local leadership, and actors who showed up to support us. It was a great day!”
Comments on the video are overwhelmingly supportive, with one commenter, Megan Joan Hall, admitting that it left her a little squeamish. “This is great,” she wrote. “But as an EMT it made me so uncomfortable that I’m asking myself where my trauma bag is.”
SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has been on strike since July 14, grinding Hollywood to a halt. In a fiery speech, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher outlined the union’s demands, with the main points being an increase in base pay for performers, whose residuals have been reduced in the age of streaming, and protections against producers using AI to use computer-generated likenesses of stars without pay or permission.
Massa’s partner in the stunt, Sanchez, told Business Insider that she’s “humbled by the support and love” from those who viewed the protest, adding, “We are looking forward to getting back to work once the AMPTP offers us a fair deal.”
We, the viewing public, do too. With rumors of deadlocked negotiations going on for many months, the threat of watching Friends re-runs for the millionth time has us wanting to light ourselves on fire, too.