CMU School of Drama

Friday, November 25, 2016

ACTRA Backs SAG-AFTRA Video Game Strike

Variety: The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has backed SAG-AFTRA’s month-long strike against video game companies. “All of ACTRA’s 23,000 members from across Canada stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers at SAG-AFTRA as they take job action until they can negotiate a reasonable deal for their Interactive Media Agreement,” said ACTRA President Ferne Downey in a statement issued Tuesday


Chris Norville said...

Is SAG-AFTRA bullying video game companies into a deal that isn’t exactly necessary? Maybe, I don’t know. I want to know more about why exactly this transparency issue is as big of deal as they are making it out to be. Clearly the union cares about it, and clearly the video game companies care about it too. If they have not capitulated only because they wish to not “bargain with terrorists”, then what about the deal they have already offered that amounts to a pay increase? Is there some shady practice that the video game industry uses to make video games that is centered around not telling the voice actors what the video game they are working for is? Maybe actors are really recording for many games, and only getting paid for one? Whatever the case, the show of solidarity from the other performing artists unions is impressive.

Cassidy Pearsall said...

I agree with Chris, I guess I might be missing something, but I don't understand why companies not having to tell voice actors what game they're being hired for is a big problem. But, I also don't get why companies don't want to tell voice actors what games they're working for. Possibly voice actors should be getting a higher compensation for larger scale video games? But I feel like even a small scale game coming from a monolith like Warner Bros will pay similar to a larger game at a smaller company.

I have read about issues with voice actors where they do indeed record content for one project, and once they leave, that content is recycled for other projects, but again, no extra compensation. That would certainly be an issue, but I'm not sure if that is on the table! I will be reading into this more.

noah hull said...

While it is great that ACTRA and other unions are supporting SAG-AFTRA’s strike I am curious to know what happened with that counter offer they were offered. I think it was mentioned in one of the articles that was posted a week or so ago, but there was something about how in response to the strike the video game companies were offering a 19% increase in pay and wanted SAG-AFTRA to let its members vote on whether or not to accept the offer (I may be a bit off on those numbers). If I remember correctly this strike started over the refusal of the video game companies to negotiate at all with SAG-AFTRA and its members. But now that they’ve made that overture its less clear what this strike is about. Unfortunately that combined with SAG-AFTRA’s refusal to let its members vote on that first proposal does make it look a little more like they’re just trying to get more money and that the health issues they were trying to get fixed at the beginning are being sidelined.