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Tom Cruise Spoke Out About AI During SAG Negotiations with Studios Prior to Strike



Tom Cruise spoke up during the Screen Actors Guild’s negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers before the union went on strike.

The actor, 61, appeared via Zoom at a meeting in June as SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP reps were bargaining across the table, a source confirmed to PEOPLE. Cruise shared his thoughts on artificial intelligence and the potential threats it imposes on actors, and also spoke in support of SAG’s proposals regarding stunt coordinators.

While many SAG-AFTRA members made presentations on key points and issues, Cruise was reportedly the most high-profile of the guest speakers during negotiations before the union’s deadline to make a new deal with production companies expired last Thursday.
The Hollywood Reporter reported Monday that Cruise also suggested SAG-AFTRA allow actors to promote their films during the strike in order to help the movie theater business.

A rep for Cruise did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Actors are forbidden from promoting new projects, conducting interviews, appearing on podcasts or promoting their work on social media during the strike, according to a memo signed by union president Fran Drescher and national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland that the guild issued last Thursday.

As Drescher, 65, spoke at a press conference to announce the strike Thursday, the union president explained that the entertainment industry’s “entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, A.I.”


“This is a very big deal and it weighed heavy on us. At some point, you have to say no, we’re not going to take it anymore,” she added during the speech. “The jig is up. … We demand respect. You share the wealth, because you cannot exist without us.”

Prior to the strike, Cruise’s success with last year’s Top Gun sequel led Steven Spielberg to proclaim the actor “saved Hollywood’s ass” at the Oscars nominee’s luncheon in Los Angeles back in February.

“Seriously, Top Gun: Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry,” Spielberg, 76, could be heard saying in a video shared at the time.

Cruise most recently made multiple appearances at Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One screenings across the country to greet fans viewing his latest entry in the action franchise.