When the actors union rejected the studios’ “last, best and final” contract offer on Monday that would end a five-month Hollywood strike, it specifically pointed to artificial intelligence as the main sticking point.
Studios have suggested that actors paid above minimum wage on a TV show or movie could have their images scanned and used in future productions. The actors guild wants language that would require performers to give consent, get paid if their AI-based image is used, and provide protections for performers who have died so that their image will not be used without the consent of their estate, according to Hollywood Reporter.
A source on the studio side said luck That under the studio’s proposal, performers would be paid to scan their images based on an estimate of the amount of work they would have done otherwise. Producers will also need to get approval for any other projects – including sequels – in which they want to use an actor’s AI in a performance. The same policy will apply after the artist’s death, the studio source said, saying the producer would need to obtain approval from his “estate, his representatives, or whoever owns his rights as determined by law.”
SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, feels the current wording in the contract is not strong enough and wants it amended to include safeguards that actors or their estates must give consent for the use of their AI after their death as well as compensation. , according to the Hollywood Reporter.
SAG-AFTRA did not respond to a request for comment.
Some social media users described this proposal, in its current form, as disparaging Zombie condition Because it will allow deceased artists to appear in new works.
Studios want as much leeway as possible to use AI because they believe it will be crucial to the future of the industry. AI would also lower certain production costs by allowing producers to use computer-generated imagery instead of having to hire new actors for each new film or television shoot.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents movie studios, submitted its “last, best and final” pitch to the actors guild on Saturday. Union representatives worked over the weekend on a counterproposal that was presented Monday, but the two sides remain far apart. “There are many key elements on which we have not yet reached agreement, including artificial intelligence,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. mail On X, formerly Twitter.
Artificial intelligence is a hot issue in the actors’ strike, which began in July. SAG-AFTRA members believe this is their opportunity to evaluate the use of AI-generated actors in film and television production before it becomes widespread.
“This is a moment in history, a moment of truth. If we don’t stand tall now, we’re all going to be in trouble,” Fran Drescher, president of SAG, said at a July press conference announcing the strike. “We’re all going to be in danger of being replaced by machines and big corporations, which You care more about Wall Street than you and your family.”
The negotiations were between the AMPTP, which includes Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, NBCUniversal and SAG-AFTRA, tense. On two occasions, the back-and-forth negotiations leaked into public view. In October, contract talks broke down over tailings, another point of contention in the streaming era, and studios publicly released their latest contract offers. SAG-AFTRA called the move a “bully tactic” and accused AMPTP of inflating the total dollar amount of their offer by 60%.
Last week, 5,000 representatives signed a letter urging SAG-AFTRA to hold out for the best possible deal, signaling a willingness to prolong the strike. “We cannot and will not accept a contract that fails to address the vital, existential problems we all need to fix,” said the letter, signed by actors Pedro Pascal, Chelsea Handler and Sandro Oh.
The letter came a week after a group of famous actors, including George Clooney, Tyler Perry and Scarlett Johansson, met with union leadership to present a potential solution to end the strike. The group proposed lifting the $1 million cap on union dues — where members pay 1.6% of their earnings — to allow higher-paid actors to contribute more to the union’s retirement and health care funds.
Drescher explained that this would not be possible because changes to health care and pension contributions would have to be negotiated with the studios, not between the actors themselves. “We are a federally regulated labor union and the only contributions that can go to our retirement and health funds have to be from the employer. So what we are fighting for in terms of benefits has to stay in this contract,” Drescher said.
The ongoing strike has disrupted the entire entertainment industry by halting the production of almost all films and television shows. Union rules also prohibit actors from participating in any studio promotional activities. Without a parade of celebrities on press tours, studios face a major hurdle in promoting upcoming releases.
Some studios have had to postpone the release of already completed projects. For example, Warner Bros. Discovery delays movie premiere Sand Dunes: Part Two From this month to March 2024 because it was not certain that stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya would be available to promote the film. SAG-AFTRA even encouraged members not to dress up as characters from major studio productions on Halloween.