As the SAG-AFTRA members strike against films and TV shows and now vote to authorize a separate strike against the video game industry, the guild leaders say that a dual strike makes sense in both contracts because both of the issues are mirroring each other.
The guilds members are divided for a large majority on the same issue and members are stronger together, say President Fran Drescher and Director of National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland in their latest message. By standing shoulder-to-side and in solidarity, we grow our strength and send a clear and easily understood message to all our employers: we won’t be exploited. Without fair terms, where we protect our members and respect their contributions, employers shouldn’t be able to benefit their members services.
SAG-AFTRA carries up its potential damage against videogame industry, as it authorizes the approval of the board to use the voting form of membership to vote by one of the guild members.
SAG-AFTRA Tells Members It’s OK to promote their movies with interim agreements at Film Festivals.
SAG-AFTRA is on strike since July 14th, and began voting on the motion against a number of major video game companies signed by the guilds Interactive Media Agreement (IMA). In 2016-17, the greatest strike for the guilds was 183 days.
In the video games industry, the real estate issues impact the actors’ lives as they work with the movies and the theaters, but the interactive media agreements’ talks with the video game companies do not affect their timing or the expectations of our progress on the television and the theatre contracts, said Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland. A strike authorization vote on this agreement won’t affect the Television/Theatrical strike.
Two of the major problems with the continue swooping movies and television strike wages and artificial intelligence are common amongst the threatening strike against the gaming companies. Even though we discussed the interactive media agreement, the two main sticking points, particularly, should be familiar, the guild leaders said.
In regards to wages, the guild seeks the same pay raise from the two contracts 11 % in first and third years and 4% in the second and third years. The members said that it is essential that the wages keep up with the inflation. You shouldn’t have to pay off a fixed income tax on a real dollar business to support the profit from companies that earn billions by selling their jobs.
Last year, the 10 companies signed the videogame agreement of the guilds generated over $19 billion in global revenues, yet these employers, besides us, echo the positions of our film and television company, said Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland. They believe the best way to deal with the inflation is to make their workers poor while they increase their prices. The employees give up their wage offer in terms of five per cent increase after ratification, the second year increase – another 4% by the third year in which we will be making lower in real money in 2025, at the conclusion of this contract term. This isn’t acceptable.
What the guild leaders said is to do with artificial intelligence: In a manner that applies not to restricted use of AI, the performers can be equally and more dangerous in videogame industries than in television and film. Some of our members work in this space: voiceover and the opportunity to easily create convincing digital replicas of performance voices is already very abundant. There’s an easy Google search. Without protection, not only will this be the future of audio audio-visual audio from video game characters, but also your own recordings will be used to teach AI systems.
The Interactive Media Agreement, in all work, also includes a lot of performance capture, where trained professionals, many of whom are stunt performers, provide digitally captured performances used to give expressive movements to videogame characters. They can replicate this work through AI, too. Without protective contract words, your face, your expressions and your signature moves will be the base of unlimited characters across unlimited games without your participation or even knowledge. What career does it leave you with?
The guild fought, they said, to protect against the use of artificial intelligence, which will require the consent of informed consent and appropriate payment, to create and use digital replicas, and for use of our members performances to train AI systems. These vital protections aren’t only righteous and fair, but also the same fate as you will know, besides your voice and image, but also necessary in order to counter the existential threat of the member work poses by the unregulated use of AI.
Safety is another major issue in the video game contract, which guild leaders say doesn’t allow for sleep time for on-camera performers. Our committee fights to give our off-camera performers the same five minute wait period as their off-camera performers. You need an injured medic, to help us perform stunts or dangerous work at the moment. I wonder whether it’s just like on a movie or television set. Employers shouldn’t ask performers to perform stunts on self-taped auditions. The IMA doesn’t have any self-taped auditions.
In addition, Audrey Cooling, a spokesperson for the video game companies, said that we all want a fair contract that reflects the important contribution of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers in an industry that delivers the world-class entertainment to billions of players worldwide. We are fighting to agree a mutual benefit as soon as possible.
It’s been nearly a year since the guild started negotiating for a new video game contract. While the two sides have hosted five separate multiday negotiations.
Despite these efforts, the companies didn’t address our members needs, said Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland. We have the additional bargaining dates set for the end of September, and our negotiating committee and national board unanimously agree that our negotiating committee should have a member-approved strike authorization in hand when negotiations resume. We urge you to vote Yes if it is necessary to authorize a strike. The question has come to a conclusion that, if we do not empower ourselves now, it won’t have a contract to fight for in the future.
The guild’s FAQ page mentions a no vote and tells employers they must not make a fair deal to keep our members working. Without the fear of a work stoppage, management has no incentive to offer the pay, AI and other terms our members need.
Voting on the strike authorization, which gives the guilds National Board authority to declare a strike if negotiations fail to produce a fair deal, will end September 25th.