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Annette Bening said Gavin Newsom made this ‘reprehensible’ decision

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If Gavin Newsom does one day run for president, he might have trouble getting support from Annette Bening and her husband Warren Beatty, even though the “Bonnie and Clyde” star is one of Hollywood’s most famous Democrats.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Bening thought that the California governor did something “reprehensible” during the recent, months-long actors and writers strikes.

Members of SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America backed legislation that would give unemployment benefits to workers on strike. But in late September, Newsom rejected the bill.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference on February 1, 2023 in Sacramento, Calif. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

“Gavin Newsom famously didn’t go along with that. I find that reprehensible,” said Bening, a four-time Oscar nominee, who stars in the new biopic “Nyad,” which is streaming on Netflix.

Newsom, a Democrat, said he supports workers and often benefits from campaign contributions from labor unions, the Associated Press reported. But he said he vetoed this bill because the fund the state uses to pay unemployment benefits would be nearly $20 billion in debt by the end of the year. He said the debt “could jeopardize California’s Benefit Cost Ratio add-on waiver application, significantly increasing taxes on employers.”

“Now is not the time to increase costs or incur this sizable debt,” he added in a statement.

The Associated Press said that the fund ran out of money and had to borrow from the federal government during the pandemic, when Newsom ordered most businesses to close and caused a massive spike in unemployment. The fund was also beset by massive amounts of fraud that cost the state billions of dollars.

If passed, the bill would have let workers who were on strike for at least two weeks receive unemployment checks from the state. Typically, only workers who lost their job through no fault of their own are eligible for those benefits.

Bening said she believed that people should have a safety net when they go on strike to protest for fair wages and benefits. “I think that if we have paid into something and we’re on strike as actors, as writers, as show business people, then we have a right to collect our unemployment,” she said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Bening talked about starring in the new film “Nyad,” a biopic about the famed long-distance swimming, Diana Nyad, who was 64 years old in 2013 when she completed the unimaginable feat of swimming from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida.

Now 65, Bening told Vanity Fair she began her one-year training for the role as a novice swimmer, and there were moments when she felt daunting by the physical challenges. She asked herself, “Can I pull this off?”

“I just kept going for it and just kept thinking, we’ll figure it out. We’ll make it work somehow,” Bening said.


If Gavin Newsom does one day run for president, he might have trouble getting support from Annette Bening and her husband Warren Beatty, even though the “Bonnie and Clyde” star is one of Hollywood’s most famous Democrats.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Bening thought that the California governor did something “reprehensible” during the recent, months-long actors and writers strikes.

Members of SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America backed legislation that would give unemployment benefits to workers on strike. But in late September, Newsom rejected the bill.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference on February 1, 2023 in Sacramento, Calif.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference on February 1, 2023 in Sacramento, Calif. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

“Gavin Newsom famously didn’t go along with that. I find that reprehensible,” said Bening, a four-time Oscar nominee, who stars in the new biopic “Nyad,” which is streaming on Netflix.

Newsom, a Democrat, said he supports workers and often benefits from campaign contributions from labor unions, the Associated Press reported. But he said he vetoed this bill because the fund the state uses to pay unemployment benefits would be nearly $20 billion in debt by the end of the year. He said the debt “could jeopardize California’s Benefit Cost Ratio add-on waiver application, significantly increasing taxes on employers.”

“Now is not the time to increase costs or incur this sizable debt,” he added in a statement.

The Associated Press said that the fund ran out of money and had to borrow from the federal government during the pandemic, when Newsom ordered most businesses to close and caused a massive spike in unemployment. The fund was also beset by massive amounts of fraud that cost the state billions of dollars.

If passed, the bill would have let workers who were on strike for at least two weeks receive unemployment checks from the state. Typically, only workers who lost their job through no fault of their own are eligible for those benefits.

Bening said she believed that people should have a safety net when they go on strike to protest for fair wages and benefits. “I think that if we have paid into something and we’re on strike as actors, as writers, as show business people, then we have a right to collect our unemployment,” she said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Bening talked about starring in the new film “Nyad,” a biopic about the famed long-distance swimming, Diana Nyad, who was 64 years old in 2013 when she completed the unimaginable feat of swimming from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida.

Now 65, Bening told Vanity Fair she began her one-year training for the role as a novice swimmer, and there were moments when she felt daunting by the physical challenges. She asked herself, “Can I pull this off?”

“I just kept going for it and just kept thinking, we’ll figure it out. We’ll make it work somehow,” Bening said.

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