HomeNewsSAG-AFTRA Strike May Be Extended to the Gaming Industry

SAG-AFTRA Strike May Be Extended to the Gaming Industry

@Photo by Abe Friedtanzer 

Strike fever is spreading beyond Hollywood—this time to the gaming industry. It’s being reported that the SAG-AFRTA board has voted unanimously to call a strike against the gamesters if negotiations fail.

According to Deadline, negotiations are being carried out with such companies as Activision, EA, Insomniac Games, and WB Games. For months, members of the actors’ and writers’ guilds have been striking in their quest for wage increases and residual payments, among other demands.

In justifying the strike, SAG-AFTRA’s president Fran Drescher had earlier declared: “Once again, artificial intelligence [AI] is putting our members in jeopardy of reducing their opportunity to work. And once again, SAG-AFTRA is standing up to tyranny on behalf of its members.”

In a statement about the possibility of extending the strike to the gaming industry, union negotiation director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland stated that “the voice and performance capture artists who bring video game characters to life deserve a contract that reflects the value they bring to the multibillion-dollar gaming industry. Voice and performance capture AI are already among the most advanced uses of AI…Without contractual protections, the employers are asking performers to unknowingly participate in the extinction of their artistry and livelihoods.”

Rules governing the gaming industry had been set by an Interactive Media Agreement that was an outcome of a 2016 dispute between the gaming companies and SAG-AFTRA. In a statement, the companies privy to the agreement said that they were “negotiating in good faith and hope to reach a mutually beneficial deal as soon as possible. We all want a fair contract that reflects the important contributions of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers in an industry that delivers world-class entertainment to billions of players around the world.”

SAG-AFTRA is reportedly asking for an 11% retroactive increase in rates for video game performers, followed by future increases of 4% and 4%, the same rates being demanded for writers and actors. Members have until September 26 to vote on the new request for a strike authorization.

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Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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