SAN DIEGO — The writers and actors strike is making an impact at Comic-Con. Union members and actors participated in a panel to discuss the recent strike.
“We’re in an infliction point in history right now, you can choose to fight and die on that hill or you will be summerly executed there,” said Zeke Alton, SAG/AFTRA negotiating member.
“The Performers Perspective” panel put on by the National Association of Voice Actors and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. (SAG/AFTRA) centered around the writers’ and actors’ strikes. The panel also discussed the strikes in relation to AI technology in entertainment.
“It’s a moment where we could either make sure those protections are in place for the humans that are behind those creative works or our likeliness and work and our art will get taken,” actor Ashly Burch said.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began striking in May against major studios over contracts, including higher pay.
SAG/AFTRA who represents actors and performers went on strike in July, which included the use of AI technology.
Actors said this is especially important for their digital likeness, when a production company creates an AI version of an actor.
“They can reuse those without your permission…and we want that contract to come in too,” said Gary Nguyen, a SAG/AFTRA member and actor from San Diego.
SAG/AFTRA members gathered in Gaslamp Friday for a photo opportunity.
“We have the right for our likeness and if you are going to keep using those without giving us royalty that is not what we are here for,” Nguyen added.
Actors said they are fighting for common sense guidelines for AI, but not in a way that’s anti-technology.
“We have to find a way to work with it ethically in a way that values everybody, that does leave us out to dry with our voices stolen regardless. If we do nothing, they will be stolen anyways. We have to get protections in place via union, via federal regulations, via companies who are willing to see humanity and give a crap about humanity,” actor Cissy Jones said.
“That’s why we are on strike right now,” Nguyen said.