The decade's most triggering comedy
Harrison Ford stunt double Mike Massa brought literal fire to a Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) protest in Georgia, setting himself aflame to complain about how performers routinely got “burned” by studio heads.
Massa, a stunt coordinator who served as one of Ford’s stunt doubles in the recently-released “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” joined a number of other stunt performers in Atlanta to show support for the SAG-AFTRA strike that began July 13. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has also been striking since May 2, making this summer the first time both unions have been on strike together since the 1960s.
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Stunt performer Elena Sanchez, who shared the video of Massa via Instagram, added the caption, “We are tired of being burned by the AMPTP” (the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).
Sanchez also spoke at the protest, saying, “Eighty-seven percent of the 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members make less than $26,000 a year. Which means they do not qualify for health insurance.”
As always, safety was a priority — Massa kept a “fire team” on hand to make sure that everything went smoothly.
Massa told The Washington Post that he had agreed to participate in the public stunt “to make a point.”
“And I think it did,” he continued. “Which is, look at the risk an individual took just to stand onstage and go, ‘Hey, look, we’re fighting for our rights, and we want you to pay attention to us and believe in us.'”
Massa used a number of precautions – from loose, layered clothing to flame retardant gel – in order to keep himself safe while his jacket went up in flames, burning for 18 seconds before his team rushed out to extinguish the fire.
“To look them in the eye while you’re on fire, not run around like you’re completely freaked out or it’s one of those uncontrollable moments — I think it says a lot,” he said.