Actors and writers unite in historic strike for better terms and AI protections
Actors claim that pay has been undercut by inflation, the streaming ecosystem and the threat of the unregulated use of AI.
In a historic strike, actors joined screenwriters in forming picket lines outside studios and filming locations. They aim to obtain better terms from studios and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. The last time film and television called a strike was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Actors and writers last joined forces in 1960.
Actors claim that pay has been undercut by inflation, the streaming ecosystem and the threat of the unregulated use of AI. Film and television actors are increasingly concerned about the implications of AI, which may be employed to replicate their voices and appearances.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group negotiating on behalf of Disney, Netflix and other major studios and streaming services, claimed to have offered the union a ‘groundbreaking AI proposal’ that protects actors’ likeness. The studios emphasised that these safeguards would entail obtaining an actor’s explicit consent before producing and utilising a digital replica or digitally modifying their performance.
In addition to the solidarity received from the 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America, the strike has won overwhelming support from renowned Hollywood and Broadway actors, including Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Bob Odenkirk and Jessica Chastain.