SAG-AFTRA members have voted in favor of a strike authorization for the Interactive Media Agreement, which covers their work on video games. The union has been in negotiations with signatory companies since October 2022 but has not reached a fair deal. The demands from SAG-AFTRA include wages that keep up with inflation, protections against exploitative uses of artificial intelligence, and basic safety precautions. Members believe that actors in the video game industry face similar issues as those in film and television, and they are determined to reach an agreement that will provide fair compensation and dignity for their work.
The signatory companies affected by the potential strike include major players in the gaming industry such as Activision, Disney, Electronic Arts, and Warner Bros. The negotiations have been ongoing for several months, but SAG-AFTRA feels that the companies have not addressed their demands adequately. These demands include consent for the use of AI, transparency in how it is used, and compensation for its use. The actors also seek improved safety measures, as they have experienced repetitive stress injuries and other physical ailments from performing demanding actions for extended periods without breaks. The strike authorization sends a clear message that SAG-AFTRA members are united in their desire for fair treatment and better working conditions in the video game industry.
Actor Zeke Alton, known for his motion capture performances, spoke about some of the issues faced by actors in the industry. He highlighted the stress of repeating performances for motion capture, the use of AI to replace actors’ work, and actors selling their likenesses for a company’s use. Alton emphasized that the demands for consent, transparency, and compensation regarding AI are reasonable and necessary to protect performers and ensure fair treatment for all workers. The actors are also seeking common-sense safety measures to prevent injuries caused by repetitive actions and demanding physical performances.