Viola Davis has opted to pause work on her new film “G20” despite receiving a waiver from SAG-AFTRA to continue production. The “The Woman King” actor released a statement stating that she found continuing work on her new project would be inappropriate in light of the ongoing strike.

“I love this movie, but I do not feel that it would be appropriate for this production to move forward during the strike,” she told Los Angeles Times and other news outlets on Sunday. “I appreciate that the producers on the project agree with this decision. JuVee Productions and I stand in solidarity with actors, SAG/AFTRA and the WGA.”

An Ongoing Battle

Davis is one of a handful of Black women who have been speaking out and standing in solidarity with Hollywood writers as well as their fellow actors to demand better treatment from Hollywood executives, streamers and networks alike. Viola Davis is however not the first to receive a waiver. Over forty-five completely independent films have been granted waivers that allow guild members to continue shooting while being mindful not to violate the terms of the ongoing strike. 

Davis’ insistence on standing with fellow actors and writers comes at an important point in the fight for fair treatment. Davis’ film is set to be distributed by Amazon Studios, a member of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) which is the body representing the streamers and networks the actors and writers are striking against. But the waiver was granted as no member of the AMPTP has a hand in the production. When a production waiver is given, the production is mandated to abide by the demands SAG-AFTRA initially brought to the negotiating table with AMPTP.

It is also reported that SAG-AFTRA believes that issuing production waivers to independent filmmakers will apply pressure on the AMPTP and cause them to return to the negotiation table.