Stars United: The SAG-AFTRA Strike Joins Forces with WGA Writers

Stars United: The SAG-AFTRA Strike Joins Forces with WGA Writers

Updated on July 28, 2023 11:43 AM by Andrew Koschiev

160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artist (SAG- AFTRA), including Hollywood actors joined the writers' union, Writers Guild of America (WGA). SAG- AFTRA and WGA are demonstrated and stopped working for against studios, since Thursday and started on Friday (14/7/2023) in the middle night US time. The actors join with film and television writers who have been on strike since last May.

 Action from SAG-AFTRA and WGA

(Image Credits: Hindustan Times)

160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA finally joined the writer’s union, WGA, in demonstrations against the studios. This is the first time that Hollywood’s actors and Hollywod’s writers have staged to strike together after 63 years.

Both of SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood's largest union worker, which represents 160,000 film and television actors, and the WGA are demanding for increases basic and residual salary in the streaming TV era and guarantees that their jobs will not be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI.

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The controversy of Replace Actor to AI

Hollywood’s union actors said one of the problem points with the studio was the use of digital replicas of actors or using AI for forever. This was conveyed by Duncan Crabtree-Ireland as Head of Negotiator of the SAG-AFTRA while holding a press conference ahead of the mass strike.

"They proposed that our artists can be scanned, get paid for a day's salary, so their company have scans of our artist that can their use for forever," said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

One of the things that they are fighting for in this mass strike is about to using AI which can exploit their voice and physical appearance without approval. "If you think it is a breakthrough proposal, I suggest you to think again," said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

Studio and Producer’s Defense

However, as reported by CNN, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) as the studio and producer, denied those SAG-AFTRA's claim. AMPTP say that the proposed proposals limit the use of digital replicas for films that employ these actors.

"Any other use requires the approval of the actor for that use, and is subject to a minimum payment", said the AMPTP.

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The Discussing Didn’t Find a Solution

The meeting between the actor’s union and the studios and producers did not reach an agreement on discussing the renewal of the work contract until the work contract was completed last Wednesday (12/7/2023).

SAG-AFTRA is fighting for new work contracts, especially for their position with the presence of streaming services and AI in today's era. The actor's union is demanding guarantees that AI and computer-generated faces and voices will not be used to replace actors.

The Effect of The Strikes

This double strike add economic damage and gave a punch to an industry who struggling with changes to its business. Major films in production including Avatar’s sequel and Gladiator are be affected by the striking out of Hollywood’s actors this time.

Promotional events such as red carpet premieres will also be affected, such as the Disney film, Haunted Mansion, which is releasing this month. The events including Emmys and Comic-Con may be rescheduled or scaled down.

Also Read: How To Audition For Netflix without An Agent?

Also Read: Motivate your employees; Money matters, but it's not everything!

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