Hollywood Actors And Writers Strike As Studios Push AI Disruption, Low Wages

Hollywood actors are going on strike after a Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator revealed a proposal from Hollywood Studios that is essentially, a Black Mirror episode come to life.

In the proposal, The Alliance of Motion Picture Television Producers included a “groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likeness for SAG-AFTRA members.” This means studios can scan and own the likeness of performers, and use it forever, for free. This is similar to the premise of ‘Joan is Awful’, episode one of Black Mirror season 6.

“This ‘groundbreaking’ AI proposal that they gave us yesterday, they proposed that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get one day’s pay, and their companies should own that scan, their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity on any project they want, with no consent and no compensation,” said Crabtree-Ireland at a press conference.

“So if you think that’s a groundbreaking proposal, I suggest you think again.”

It’s no secret that protection against AI using actors’ likenesses without their consent or compensation is one of SAG-AFTRA’s biggest points. Earlier at the press conference, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher also brought up concerns around AI.

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“The entire business model has been changed by streaming and AI,” said Drescher.

“If we don’t stand tall right now, we are all going to be in jeopardy,” she continued. “You cannot change the business model as much as it has been changed and not expect the contract to change too.”