The actors strike has gone on for most of the summer, and the One Chicago cast has held strong. People from all three shows have shown up on the picket lines, and have voiced their support for what they hope to be better working conditions for themselves and future generations of actors. Chicago Med star S. Epatha Merkerson fits squarely in this camp.
The actress, who has played Dr. Sharon Goodwin since Med started, talked to the New York Times about the Hollywood strike, and the ways in which it has become a more dire situation than some may realize.
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“I hate that we’re on strike, because it’s going to affect so many people”, Merkerson asserted. “A lot of people don’t understand. They think it’s just the actors, because that’s all they hear about. But there are so many people who depend on these SAG jobs.”
The importance of the strike has not been lost on Merkerson’s co-star, Nick Gehlfuss. Despite leaving the show during the last season, the actor has been on the frontlines, championing better pay for the rest of the industry. “There’s so much focus of survival and getting the next gig in our industry, but it’s important to understand what our rights are and how to protect ourselves”, he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
In the time since Med aired its season 8 finale, the actress has kept busy with hobbies and quality time with her fellow co-stars. One of these hobbies has been quilting, which Merkerson says has come in handy as gifts. “I’ve gotten a little better at quilting since then, but I’m still very much a novice”, she revealed.
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“A lot of young people on Chicago Med are getting married and starting families, so in the past three years I’ve probably made 10 quilts”, Merkerson added. “The first one was for Colin Donnell and his wife, Patti Murin, for their firstborn. People take pictures of the babies with the quilts and send them to me.”
While there doesn’t seem to be an end date for the actors strike in sight, the writers room for Med has opened back up, so hopefully that points towards a resolution sooner rather than later.
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