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Stuntman Fans The Flames Of The SAG-AFTRA Strike - By Setting Himself On Fire

A stuntman made a dramatic statement during the Screen Actors Guild strike on Tuesday, July 25... by literally setting himself on fire.

Supporters of SAG-AFTRA's strike may have seen an Instagram post from that day at the Atlanta strike, where stunt coordinator Mike Massa set himself aflame while holding a sign supporting the guild and bearing its logo. The guild is fighting against the AMPTP, or the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which is refusing to even talk to SAG-AFTRA — as well as the Writers Guild of America, which is also on strike — about their demands related to artificial intelligence, streaming residuals, and many more issues.

It's certainly not surprising that talented individuals like the ones currently striking are turning to increasingly dramatic stunts on the picket lines, but this is perhaps the best and most evocative yet — particularly because, of course, Massa is a stunt professional who knows exactly how to pull off this trick safely. We don't recommend trying this tactic next time you're asking for a raise.

A stuntman set himself on fire to protest the AMPTP

Actor Elena Sanchez posted the clip of Massa to Instagram with the caption "We are tired of being burned by the AMPTP," tagging Massa in the post. The stunt coordinator also responded on his own account, thanking everyone who made it possible for him to pull this off. 

Massa wrote, "Wanted to give a huge Thank You to Paul Short, Adam Hart, Alex Smith, Cory DeMeyers and Philip Dido for giving their free time and resources to be my Fire team at the Atlanta SAG-AFTRA Stunt Rally. 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 leader ship, and actors who showed up to support us. It was a great day!"

As the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes continue, we'll see more celebrities, writers, and performers make waves on the picket lines while they try and get the AMPTP to meet their demands — and compensate them in the way that they deserve.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. To learn more about why writers and actors are currently on strike, click here for an up-to-date explainer from our Looper team.