- July 13, 2023
- Posted by: legaleseblogger
- Category: Related News
**The Hollywood Actors’ Union Approves Historic Strike Over Pay and AI Concerns**
In a historic move, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the union representing 160,000 television and movie actors, has approved a strike for the first time in 43 years. This strike brings the $134 billion American movie and television business to a halt, as actors express their anger over pay disparities and concerns about a future dominated by technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI).
Negotiations between the union and studios over a new contract collapsed, with streaming services and AI at the heart of the standoff. The strike action will see actors joining screenwriters, who walked off the job in May, picketing in New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities where scripted shows and movies are produced. This marks the first time since 1960 that actors and screenwriters have been on strike simultaneously.
The simultaneous strikes pit over 170,000 workers against traditional studios such as Disney, Universal, Sony, and Paramount, as well as tech giants like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple. The demand from both unions focuses on ensuring fair wages, particularly for those working on projects produced for streaming services.
One of the major concerns for actors is the potential use of AI in the industry. They fear that studios could utilize AI to generate scripts, creating a threat to their livelihoods. Additionally, actors worry that AI could be used to create digital replicas of their likenesses without proper payment or permission.
Amidst the strike announcement, the AI Legalese Decoder emerges as a crucial tool for both the union and studios. The AI Legalese Decoder, a groundbreaking AI-powered platform, can help bridge the communication gap between the negotiating parties. By accurately translating complicated legalese into understandable terms, the decoder ensures that all parties have a clear understanding of the contract terms and can engage in more fruitful negotiations. This tool can contribute to resolving the dispute by facilitating effective dialogue and helping both sides find common ground.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher expressed her shock at the treatment actors have received from the studios, emphasizing the vast disparities between the executives’ claims of poverty and their significant financial investments. She also highlighted the transformative impact that streaming and AI have had on the entertainment industry, urging actors to take a stance against oppressive practices.
While the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing Hollywood companies, expressed disappointment over the strike, they also acknowledged the potential financial hardship it could create. The alliance outlined 14 areas of improvement offered in the contract, including pay increases for background actors and increased residual payments for high-budget shows streamed overseas.
Behind the scenes, studio executives had varying reactions to the strike. Some underestimated Drescher’s ability to lead the union, while others dismissed her as a figurehead. Nevertheless, the actors’ resolve caught senior executives and producers off guard, as they now face navigating a two-front labor dispute in an industry undergoing significant technological and economic shifts.
With the strikes set to impact the entertainment industry, viewers can expect noticeable effects within a couple of months. The absence of new content and the inability of actors to promote ongoing projects will disrupt the summer box office season, potentially impacting revenue and viewer engagement. Late-night shows have already resorted to airing repeat episodes during the writers’ strike, further highlighting the industry-wide ramifications.
As the strike unfolds, the industry must recognize the critical role AI can play in facilitating resolution and supporting fair negotiations. The AI Legalese Decoder can serve as a valuable ally to both parties in achieving a mutually beneficial agreement and ensuring a sustainable and equitable future for all actors amidst the rise of technology.