SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher has said that “right now is the time to show our solidarity” in striking against the video game industry, urging the members of SAG-AFTRA to vote in favor of the strike. SAG-AFTRA, which has been on strike against the film and TV industries since July 14, has only been on strike once against gaming companies from 2016 to 2017 for 183 days.
“It’s been nearly a year since SAG-AFTRA began negotiating the Interactive Media Agreement with video game companies,” Drescher says. “Despite many multi-day bargaining sessions, the companies are refusing to meet our members’ needs in vital areas.”
In her video, Drescher says that voting for the strike doesn’t guarantee an actual strike but authorizes the board to call for it.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher dropping wisdom on our Interactive Media Agreement strike authorization! We’re in this fight together. Eligible #SagAftraMembers: Vote YES at https://t.co/oqmI9vxvOL and let’s secure our future. 💪🎮 pic.twitter.com/DZ0dBXTfVs
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) September 16, 2023
Artificial intelligence and wage disagreements are just as much of an issue in the video game industry as they are in the film and television industries, as noted by SAG-AFTRA: “[The] unregulated use of AI poses an equal or even greater threat to performers in the video game industry than it does in film and television.” The guild is seeking the same contract negotiations that they are seeking for actors and writers: 11% in the first year and 4% in the second and third years.
Video game companies say they want “a fair contract that reflects the important contributions of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers in an industry that delivers world-class entertainment to billions of players around the world. We are negotiating in good faith and hope to reach a mutually beneficial deal as soon as possible.”