Ben Affleck and Matt Damon offered to pay Jimmy Kimmel Live! staff from their own pockets during the Writers Guild of America strike. Jimmy Kimmel revealed the generous gesture from his celebrity friends on the first episode of Spotify’s new Strike Force Five podcast, which he co-hosts with other late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and John Oliver.
“Ben Affleck and the horrible Matt Damon reached out to me and said they wanted to pay our staff for two weeks,” Kimmel said on the Aug. 30 podcast episode, joking about his long-running fake feud with Damon on his show. “They each wanted to pay out of their own pockets our staff.” Fallon added, “They’re good people.”
Kimmel turned down the offer, saying he felt it wasn’t their job to pay his staff. “I said no, but I felt that that was not their duty,” Kimmel shared, as Meyers joked, “Could you transfer that?” Colbert also teased, “Could you just say yes and then give us your money?”
The WGA strike started in May, followed by the SAG-AFTRA strike in July. Many big actors have joined striking members on the picket line, and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a charity that helps striking performers, announced earlier this month their fund’s top-donating actors. Meryl Streep and George Clooney led a donation campaign that raised over $15 million in just three weeks, and each gave $1 million of their own money. Damon and Affleck were also among the actors who gave at least $1 million, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey and married couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.