Hollywood swaps private Oscar parties for public protest

Comic illustration by Wehoville. No endorsement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is implied.

We used to have Oscar pre-parties. Now we have pre-protests.

Ex-employees of the Chateau Marmont who were unceremoniously canned during the height of the COVID pandemic last year have planned a star-studded evening to remember outside their former workplace tonight.

And unlike most of the red-carpet functions held here, you’re actually invited to attend.

Joined by the likes of Jane Fonda, Alfonso Cuaron and Lena Headey (aka Cersei Lannister), the laid-off workers and their union advocates will rally for justice Hollywood-style tonight, starting at 5 p.m. outside the hotel.

More on tonight’s gathering:

The action comes a day after Oscar-Nominated Director Aaron Sorkin pulled filming of the major production Being the Ricardos, starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, from the hotel due to the ongoing labor dispute, honoring the boycott at the Chateau Marmont.

Organizers say the protest action will have an awards show theme to celebrate the decades of service that fired Chateau Marmont workers gave to “Hollywood’s Playground” and that the workers have events planned throughout Oscar weekend calling attention to the boycott at the hotel.

Through the highly publicized boycott of the Chateau Marmont, workers are calling on the hotel to demonstrate a commitment to respecting workers’ years of service by rehiring them in accordance with their legal rights and ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect.

A growing number of celebrities have endorsed the workers’ call for a boycott, including Martin Sheen, Tom Morello, Edie Falco, Constance Zimmer, Nikki Bilderback, Thomas Sadoski, Joshua Oppenhimer, Eliza Dushku and Alison Pill. Organizations like SAG-AFTRA have also voiced their support for the fired workers.

It has been over a year since the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or company-provided healthcare. Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at the hotel, prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott.

According to public records, the Chateau Marmont was approved for a $1.95 million PPP loan on February 5, 2021, and as of April 13 the loan had been disbursed but not paid in full or charged off, according to the SBA. UNITE HERE Local 11 has asked the U.S Small Business Administration to conduct an inquiry to ensure the hotel complies with Paycheck Protection Loan requirements.

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