Stunt actor and coordinator Mike Massa set himself ablaze during a SAG-AFTRA rally in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday.
Dozens of workers gathered to support their union, which is currently on strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) burned out this month.
Massa, stunt coordinator and Harrison Ford’s stunt double on “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” closed the demonstration by taking the stage in a flame-licked coat while holding up a strike sign.
The professional risk-taker ensured the spectacle was safe with special protective materials and a fire crew on site.
He later posted a video of his stunt on Instagram, telling followers, “We are tired of being burned by the AMPTP” in the caption.
In another post thanking his stunt person peers, Massa said, “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!”
Actors have been on strike since July 14. They are fighting for an increase in residual payments, higher wages and protections against artificial intelligence.
At the rally, Eric Goins, the SAG-AFTRA local president, spoke about studios and streaming services’ record-breaking revenue numbers and the inequity across the industry.
“We should share in the successes of our employer when their product goes, and they make billions with a ‘B.’ Billions of dollars on the backs of the people who do the work,” he said, according to Atlanta News First.
Actor and stunt person Elena Sanchez echoed that message: “The AMPTP is opposed to us sharing the rewards of a successful show because we don’t bear any of the risks.”
“Excuse me? Tell that to my friend John who lost his life working on one of your TV shows,” she said, referring to stunt performer John Bernecker, who died while filming The Walking Dead in 2017.
“Tell that to any of us in this room who have literally broken bones and bled for you.”