Harold and Kumar have detoured from White Castle to Paramount Studios.
On Wednesday, John Cho and Kal Penn, the actors behind the titular stoner duo in the Harold and Kumar movies, made an unplanned appearance at the SAG-AFTRA strike rally at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. According to footage from the Associated Press, the two took the stage to pump up the crowds of gathered actors' union members and those marching with them in solidarity.
"You've got studio executives and big corporations who love to tweet about equity," said Penn, who in addition to his acting career also served as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement during the Obama administration. "They love to post on social media about equity. They love all the performative s--- that comes with pretending that they support us."
Stewart Cook/Shutterstock for SAG-AFTRA John Cho and Kal Penn at a SAG-AFTRA strike rally
Cho interjected, "Yeah, boy!" making Penn laugh.
Penn also took to task The Levinson Group, a DC-based PR firm, for signing on as the latest crisis management firm to assist the studios with their messaging problems during the ongoing dual strikes from both Hollywood writers and performers.
"The way you know we're winning is when they hire a progressive DC PR firm," Penn, who took a break from acting to work in the White House Office of Public Engagement under the Obama administration, continued. "I'm looking at you Molly Levinson and all of the people who work for you, many of whom I've worked with at the White House. And you're on the wrong side of history. And you know that the work that we're doing with our incredible union leadership, our sibling unions, is working if they're taking steps like that. So, please, keep it up."
When the news of Levinson's firm's involvement first broke on Aug. 31, Penn called her out directly on social media, posting a photo of the headline with the caption, "Disappointing to see this @mollylevinson."
Cho closed out their appearance with a quip paying tribute to their career-making roles as the two White Castle obsessed stoners, proclaiming, "We have the munchies for a fair deal."
The rally was the end-point of a Solidarity March that began at Netflix headquarters and traveled to the front of Paramount studios. Other prominent SAG-AFTRA members in attendance included union president Fran Drescher, Jean Smart, and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
The actors' union are in their ninth week on strike after the AMPTP failed to broker a successful contract with SAG-AFTRA when their previous contract expired at the end of June. They joined the already-striking WGA, who are nearing 150 days on the picket lines after going on strike in early May.
The dual Hollywood strike, the first since 1960, marks a historic moment in the labor movement, and both unions are keeping the pressure on with daily picketing, rallies, and more. The WGA is still awaiting a counterproposal from the producers following the writers' union's counterproposal presented on Aug. 15.
The AMPTP has not returned to the table to negotiate with the actors' union since the strike began July 12.