Power To SAG-AFTRA
Whatever It Takes
News tonight that SAG-AFTRA are still being given the runaround on AI protections means their strike will go on. Everyone should be horrified by what is purportedly the AMPTP’s “last best and final offer” (It never is.)
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is seeking to secure Al scans for Schedule F performers — guild members who earn more than the minimum for series regulars ($32,000 per TV episode) and feature films ($60,000). The companies suggested clause would require studios and streamers to pay to scan the likeness of Schedule F performers. SAG-AFTRA is seeking to attach a compensation for the re-use of Al scans as AMPT member companies would also need to secure consent from the performer. The language currently in the AMPT's offer would see the studios and streamers secure the right to use scans of deceased performers without the consent of their estate or SAG-
So…I work hard to write shit that is that dystopian.
And while this is obviously obscene, it’s also designed to eventually make AFTRA so unstable that it may have difficulty even supporting basic health/pension. Then the union dies. However, the news is even worse for our crews.
Fewer actors means fewer of everyone else.
Hair & Make-up.
Costumers. Caterers, the list goes on and on.
If the studios intend to replace actors with A.I. then crews are also going on the endangered species list.
More broadly — if late stage capitalism is intent to simply wash away jobs with A.I. before we have universal basic income — what is the endgame?
Are we all to live in ROBOCOP until we die in a mass shooting? The line in the sand has already been drawn. Hollywood is a union business and Los Angeles is a union town.
Much as it sucks, the SAG-AFTRA strike must continue until the AMPTP relents on its truly grotesque demands.
We all hoped that the end was close, but it may be farther away than we imagined. It’s really difficult to understand how the studios thought that was reasonable, or why the union would consent. In the coming days, I’ll be writing about how we can put some money into the Entertainment Community Fund’s coffers. There are a lot of folks suffering.
On the comic front, I’m locked down in X-Men writing, but I’m also thinking about my old friend Mike Hawthorne.
He was integral to our Deadpool collaboration, as were all our artists. Anything you love about our run flowed from the ink of Mike and the rest of our talented partners. He has a new crowdfunding effort. Check out Mike Hawthorne’s excellent warm up sketches.
And subscribe to Mike’s Substack over this way.
More comics this week.