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HomeAnonymous‘People’s Livelihoods Are At Stake’

‘People’s Livelihoods Are At Stake’


It doesn’t take someone with Behavioral Analysis Unit skills to figure out that Criminal Minds stars Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia) and Aisha Tyler (Dr. Tara Lewis) would be joining their fellow SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and WGA (Writers Guild of America) members on the picket line. The two performers are passionate about making sure a fair and equitable deal is reached for their fellow guild members.

“There’s no choice,” Vangsness tells TV Insider as to why she joined hundreds of actors and writers walking the line in the hot July sun outside of Paramount Studios in Hollywood. “I want to because these are my people. I’m a member of the WGA but I’ve been a member of SAG [even longer]. It was my dream ever since I was a kid. I’m so proud to be a member.”

“I’m a member of all three guilds,” says Tyler, who is a director along with being an actor and writer. “It’s really important to protect the hard work, intellectual property, and livelihoods of all that people that makes this business work.”

Vangsness and Tyler both feel for the performers and writers who aren’t making a living wage by toiling away in show business where bigger paying gigs can be few and far between for most.

Asked what the TV viewer can do to support the strike, Vangsness gently suggests that folks reframe their way of thinking. “[When] you see a show and you see someone living their dream, they may not be making that money that you think they are,” offers Vangsness, who hastens to add, “On Criminal Minds, I am living the dream but the level of wealth we have is totally screwed up. Not everyone makes what people may think they do. We need to even that out.”

“The fact of the matter is that this business doesn’t work without the people you see her on the picket line,” Tyler notes. “These people need to make a real living. We’re all about the hard work, intensity, creative thought, and energy that goes into this business.”

The two actresses, like most of Hollywood, have found their various projects have been put in abeyance. “Everything’s on hold,” Tyler says. “None of my shows are going right now.” That includes, of course, the Paramount+ revival of Criminal Minds, Evolution. “We were actually wanting to go back,” Vangsness says. “They pushed us off. We could have had everybody in our group working by [last] April, but it got pushed and pushed because I’m sure that they thought there was going to be a strike — and here we are.”

Speaking of intensity, TV Insider asked both actresses that if they had seen Ron Perlman’s (Sons of Anarchy) passionate social media post in response to an anonymous studio executive who told Deadline that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) goal “is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”

Neither Criminal Minds star saw Perlman’s since deleted post but they have heard about it. “[Ron] felt very passionately about it,” an understanding Tyler says. “People’s livelihoods are at stake.”

“That’s what they understand,” Vangsness says about producers figuring they can wait out writers and other artistic individuals. “They understand making people work for them. What they are missing in this is that all of these people here make culture. They make art. Producers take art and turn it into…consumable things.

“They’re waiting for sundry workers to run out of fuel,” adds Vangsness. However, she feels that simply is not going to happen. “You can’t take this away from me. I’m an artist. I’m going to do this in a theater for 14 people and one bathroom [if I have to].”

“Frankly,” Tyler says, “the people who are out here picketing have more stamina than the people who have to worry about quarterly earnings reports.”

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