The SAG-AFTRA strike is the best thing to happen to Cameo, the short-video app where celebs get paid to make clips for fans, since the lockdowns
Over 2,400 celebrities flocked to Cameo amid the SAG-AFTRA strike.
It’s the largest boost to the platform since the lockdowns in 2020.
Stars joining the platform include Screen Actors Guild president Fran Drescher and actress Alyssa Milano.
This latest influx of celebrities to the platform in July marks a 137% increase from June and represents the largest growth in celebrity sign-ups on the platform since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Steven Galanis.
“You just assume that they’re making all this money, they’re rich and famous, but the vast majority of them just aren’t,” Galanis told CNN, adding that Cameo was a way for some to “bridge the gap.”
Cameo is an app where users can pay celebrities to make personalized short clips. Celebrities set their own rates, and requests can range from lighthearted birthday wishes to asking a star to break up with your partner for you.
The Screen Actors Guild, or SAG strike — has gone on for over a month now — means that the guild’s over 160,000 actors are now withholding their labor from Hollywood companies, barring them from acting or promoting their shows.
Before the strike, the SAG and Cameo inked a new deal for actors to count their earnings from “Cameo for Business,” personalized marketing video clips made by celebrities for companies, towards health and pension benefits.
Fran Drescher, “The Nanny” actress and the president of the Screen Actors Guild, was one of the performers who restarted their Cameo accounts since the strike began and is charging $1,500 for a personalized video. A message from the actress costs $20.
Other stars who recently joined or restarted their accounts on the platform include “Who’s the Boss?” actress Alyssa Milano, who is charging $300 for personalized videos, and “American Horror Story” actor Cheyenne Jackson, who briefly reactivated his account before deleting it for undisclosed reasons.
Milano told the New York Times that Cameo “is a great way to supplement some income during this idle time,” while “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Fred Stoller told CNN that requests on the app were “Postmates money.”
During the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, actors like “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood also joined the platform, charging $340 for a personalized video.
Cameo wasn’t the lone beneficiary of the shift to lockdown lifestyles during the pandemic. Other industry giants, from video conferencing tool Zoom to food delivery company DoorDash, rode the same wave.
Yet, the post-pandemic landscape hasn’t been all rosy for the company.
Despite the recent influx of celebrities, Cameo has grappled with layoffs, axing 80 of its workforce in July and leaving the company with less than 50 employees, the Information reported. The company previously axed 87 jobs in 2022.
Galanis said at the time Cameo hired too many workers too quickly to “support both fan and talent demand during the pandemic lockdowns.”
Cameo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, sent outside regular business hours.