Actors Union Threatens 3rd Hollywood Strike — Against Video Game Makers: AI 'Putting Our Members in Jeopardy'

As its strike against the studios approaches its third month, the union representing Hollywood actors is now rattling its saber at another industry — video game makers.

SAG-AFTRA leaders announced Friday that they will seek authorization for a strike against major video game companies, which would presumably include giants Activision and Electronic Arts.

The union said talks on a new video game contract have reached a “stalemate,” and that they would hold a strike authorization vote to gain leverage in their fight for wage increases and guarantees concerning artificial intelligence technology.

Many rank-and-file Hollywood actors make lucrative pay performing voice work or motion-capture performances for video game companies. But A.I. is threatening their gravy train, with A.I. applications already in use in some popular games.

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher called out video game companies for their “greed and disrespect.”

“Once again artificial intelligence is putting our members in jeopardy of reducing their opportunity to work,” Drescher said. “And once again, SAG-AFTRA is standing up to tyranny on behalf of its members.”

The last time SAG-AFTRA launched a strike against video game makers was in 2016. The strike lasted nearly a year.

The union’s current strike against Hollywood studios shows no signs of ending as both sides continue to dig in their heels on key negotiating points regarding streaming compensation and A.I. Along with the concurrent writers strike, it has brought TV and movie production to a virtual halt around the country, putting thousands of people out of work and damaging local economies coast to coast.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at [email protected]


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