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Hollywood STRIKES UPDATE: SAG AFTRA reaches agreement with AMPTP!


Mladen
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After failed negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and studio executives, the biggest union of actors in America is officially going on strike. That the strike is really going on proved the cast of "Oppenheimer" who left the premiere of Christopher Nolan's new movie. Fran Derscher, the President of SAG-AFTRA gave speech announcing the fight against studios over royalties and usage of AI. 

Ms. Drescher's speech: 

 

 

Variety's piece on strike: https://variety.com/2023/biz/news/sag-aftra-double-strike-wga-amptp-1235669492/

One of the most disturbing pieces of information that came from negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP is about usage of AI instead of actors.

SAG-AFTRA is the second Hollywood guild that went on strike. Previously this year, the WGA - Writer's Guild went on strike. This is the first time since 1960s that both major entertainment unions went on strike at the same time. 

Edited by Mladen
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16 minutes ago, Mladen said:

 

One of the most disturbing pieces of information that came from negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP is about usage of AI instead of actors.

Yeah, that's something else. You wouldn't have to throw much of a residual bone for bg actors to be ok with it, but nah. 

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44 minutes ago, JGP said:

Yeah, that's something else. You wouldn't have to throw much of a residual bone for bg actors to be ok with it, but nah. 

Yet meanwhile, Bob Iger makes an ass of himself: 

https://deadline.com/2023/07/bob-iger-lambasted-for-cnbc-comments-about-strike-he-came-out-of-retirement-to-make-54-million-in-two-years-and-says-this-1235437262/

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Pfft.

It's good to know you don't have to be an effective communicator to be an Entertainment CEO in the 31 mil per year pay grade, right? 

Not disheartening. Nope. Not that.

 

Edited by JGP
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10 minutes ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Aren’t Hollywood actors already overpaid the most in the world compared to other film industries ? I have no sympathies… give school teachers a hike instead. 

Why not pay both more? And fyi a lot of actors and writers don't make much while living in cities that are expensive as fuck. I just spoke with one of my step-brothers who is now on the picket line. Things sound bad. 

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2 hours ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Aren’t Hollywood actors already overpaid the most in the world compared to other film industries ? I have no sympathies… give school teachers a hike instead. 

The median salary of actors in 2023 was $34,026. The median salary of teachers in 2023 in the USA was $61,000. Only a wildly small, 1% type portion of the acting pool makes the kind of staggering salaries that make waves in the news. They are the exception to the rule. 

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4 hours ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Aren’t Hollywood actors already overpaid the most in the world compared to other film industries ? I have no sympathies… give school teachers a hike instead. 

SAG-AFTRA represents some 160 000 actors from TV, film and streaming platforms. While top notch stars like Di Caprio, Downey or Cruise are paid in millions, most of them are actually paid substantially less and have troubles to make ends meet. There is also the question of health insurance etc. 

The business model has drastically changed with streaming platforms and the actors found themselves with less work (we went from season having 22-24 episodes to 6-10) plus the royalties from streaming the content are paid by outdated model.

The worst part, IMO, is the usage of AI. I mean, paying an actor a days work to scan their face so they could use that face indefinitely without paying extra or having actors' consent? It is not just a disturbing idea because of how unfair it is, it is even making you think how AI will be used in perhaps nefarious purposes far serious than entertainment industry. 

Edited by Mladen
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30 minutes ago, Mladen said:

The worst part, IMO, is the usage of AI. I mean, paying an actor a days work to scan their face so they could use that face indefinitely without paying extra or having actors' consent? It is not just a disturbing idea because of how unfair it is, it is even making you think how AI will be used in perhaps nefarious purposes far serious than entertainment industry. 

In relation to this, Samuel L. Jackson has openly stated he does not allow his likeness to be used in this manner and has made it quite clear he never will. 

If Sam Jackson says no, so should you! :D 

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7 hours ago, Ser Rodrigo Belmonte II said:

Aren’t Hollywood actors already overpaid the most in the world compared to other film industries ? I have no sympathies… give school teachers a hike instead. 

That is missing the forest for the trees.  See above about the vast majority of actors making didly squat.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison
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Some of the main things that SAG-AFTRA seeks to resolve (courtesy of backstage, the most widely used career platform for actors): 

According to a statement from the union, “We need a contract that will increase contributions to our benefit plans and protect members from erosion of income due to inflation and reduced residuals, unregulated use of generative AI, and demanding self-taped auditions.” Issues on the table include:

  • Money: SAG wants the AMPTP to provide better compensation and benefits for its members. 
  • Residuals: Current residual payments don’t reflect the value of member contributions. According to the union, they “undercut by inflation and by a streaming ecosystem through which producers pay less residual income than traditional exhibition models.” 
  • Generative AI: The union is requesting that the AMPTP provide protections for members against misuse of artificial intelligence, as well as a definition of acceptable use of the technology.
  • Self-tapes: Without regulation regarding self-taped auditions, SAG alleges that performers currently face an unfairly arduous casting process. “The shift to burdensome and unreasonably demanding self-taped auditions means that our members are working harder than ever, forced to take on audition costs that have always been the responsibility of casting and production,” the union’s statement reads.
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2 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Further anyone working in an industry that demands intellectual rigor and creativity should be given pause here. Generative AI… is something that could potentially replace us all.

Everyone should be worried about tech running amuck in general. You're a lawyer. I've read some articles and listened to a podcast that argue most white collar jobs can be eliminated in the not too distant future. Accountants might be truly fucked 20 years from now, but a lot of work lawyers do could also be eaten up by similar shit. My biggest fear is that most of us simply won't be needed anymore despite our academic backgrounds and work experience. Big business wants to cut labor at every turn. 

Edited by Tywin et al.
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21 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Everyone should be worried about tech running amuck in general. You're a lawyer. I've read some articles and listened to a podcast that argue most white collar jobs can be eliminated in the not too distant future. Accountants might be truly fucked 20 years from now, but a lot of work lawyers do could also be eaten up by similar shit. My biggest fear is that most of us simply won't be needed anymore despite our academic backgrounds and work experience. Big business wants to cut labor at every turn. 

I know.

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If people think that this entire battle against AI does not concern them, think twice. I am a medical biochemist and I have sat at international meeting when they talked how AI will change the world of medicine, starting with pharmacists and biochemists. Automatized machinery that would only need a nurse or technician to do scut work... What is happening with the actors can be translated to any industry and we will all see how unprotected we all truly are. 

***

We will be getting more and more of these stories. For those asking, Sean was in 137 of 154 "Gilmore Girls" episodes, plus revival.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Further anyone working in an industry that demands intellectual rigor and creativity should be given pause here. Generative AI… is something that could potentially replace us all.

As Hollywood and the writers and actors have shown us already, many times over, if we have the will to listen and stop the rise of the AI...

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42 minutes ago, Mladen said:

If people think that this entire battle against AI does not concern them, think twice. I am a medical biochemist and I have sat at international meeting when they talked how AI will change the world of medicine, starting with pharmacists and biochemists. Automatized machinery that would only need a nurse or technician to do scut work... What is happening with the actors can be translated to any industry and we will all see how unprotected we all truly are. 

Prior to losing my job I spent over seven years working on the business side of a major hospital. We would regularly see breakdowns of the theoretical future of medicine. Just one possibility that seems inevitable is machines doing a lot of surgeries that today require multiple staff, but tomorrow might only require one person to make sure the machine doesn't screw up, much like how it's theoretically possibly to run a McDonalds with just two or three people working at a time. That's the likely future for most industries.

The one that scares me the most is militaries because war will be more acceptable if its automated so long as people don't die in volume. But yeah, this fight is only a microcosm of what's going to come. 

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