In a startling revelation made during the press conference announcing their strike, Hollywood actors disclosed that the studios are demanding possession of their AI replicas without any compensation—a proposition that feels reminiscent of a dystopian narrative from the television series Black Mirror.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the chief negotiator for SAG-AFTRA, shared details of the Hollywood studios’ proposal, which was described by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) as a “groundbreaking AI proposal” safeguarding the digital likenesses of actors belonging to SAG-AFTRA.
When questioned about the proposal at the press conference, Crabtree-Ireland expressed his incredulity, stating:
“Yesterday, they presented us with this so-called ‘groundbreaking’ AI proposal. They suggested that our background performers should undergo scanning, receive payment for a single day’s work, and grant ownership of that scan, their image, and their likeness to the studios indefinitely. These studios would then have the right to utilize this digital representation without any consent or compensation, on any future project, for all eternity. If they believe this is a groundbreaking proposal, I suggest they reevaluate their perspective.”
The integration of generative AI has been a contentious issue in the ongoing negotiations between the two parties, with its implications extending beyond the current actors’ strike and also playing a significant role in the writers’ strike. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher emphasized the urgency of the situation in her opening statement, warning, “If we fail to take a firm stand now, we will all face dire consequences. Our very existence is at stake, as we risk being replaced by machines.”
The SAG-AFTRA strike is scheduled to commence at midnight tonight, marking a pivotal moment in the struggle for fair treatment and the preservation of actors’ rights.
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