Discover more from Bobby Miller Time
SAG & WGA strike for the first time in 63 years. United against AI.
SAG is on strike after negotiations for a new contract expired last night. They join the WGA on the picket line for the first time since 1960. Like the writer’s guild, the actors union sees AI as a “real and immediate threat.”
Part of SAG’s statement this morning reads, “We must get agreement around acceptable uses, bargain protections against misuse, and ensure consent and fair compensation for the use of your work to train AI systems and create new performances…The companies have not shown a desire to take our members’ basic rights to our own voices and likenesses seriously.”
SAG chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland clarified the issue at today’s press conference. "(The studios) proposed that our background actors should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day's pay, and their company should own that scan, their image, their likeness and to be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation."
If you’ve read any of my AI pieces, you’ll know one thing to be true. Corporations see an AI future that eliminates artist jobs and cuts costs. And they like it.
But, these lawsuits and investigations will take time. And without government regulations protecting artists, only one line of defense is left.
Unfortunately, the DGA blew it with their contract. So now it’s up to SAG and WGA to lead the way. And the world is watching.
The Corporations released a Deadline article on Tuesday night in a desperate last-minute scare tactic. In it, a studio executive said, “The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”
The propaganda piece blew up in their face. Writers were galvanized by the studios’ move to admit they were the villains, and SAG still chose to strike. The Deadline article was a puzzling move, only highlighting corporate America's disconnect from the boiling-over labor movement. The studios are intent on an old playbook that doesn’t consider post-pandemic resolve, unprecedented union solidarity, or social media dissemination.
So, where is this all heading?
Before AI, animation saw jobs getting sent overseas for non-union labor. Outsourcing animation is nothing new. But, what is new is the outsourcing of key creative crew positions. This trend + AI threatens to cripple animation workers in the US.
Do you honestly think they care if robots replace us?
Thanks for reading Bobby Miller Time! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.