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SAG-AFTRA has moved its picket line on the streets to a picket line on Twitter. SAG-AFTRA recently organized a strike for better compensation for the many voice actors lending their voices to video game companies like EA and Insomniac Games. SAG-AFTRA moved its strike to Twitter in part to show that “[the union’s] strength is in [its] unity.”
According to Deadline, SAG-AFTRA recommended to its members to retweet the company’s Twitter posts and to share its Facebook stories starting on November 22 at noon ET/ 3 pm PT. The union also asked for its members to take a “solidarity selfie or group photo” with the hashtag #PerformanceMatters.
One aspect of the strike is around residual payment. SAG-AFTRA says that video game companies are refusing to offer residual payment bonuses and other profit sharing opportunities. The union asked for its performers to receive an additional full-scale payment for every 500,000 units sold as well as four secondary payments if the game sells 2 million copies.
In a recent interview with GameSpot, Overwatch voice actor, who voices Winston, spoke about the strike and why voice actors matter to gaming companies.
“We negotiated with them for 19 months in good faith,” Winston said. “It’s the longest negotiation SAG-AFTRA has ever done. It was the last thing we wanted to do, but they left us with no other choice.”
One of the most recent SAG-AFTRA protests was at Insomniac Games. Over 450 actors and their allies participated.
Actor Phil LaMarr, a member of SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee said that the union was into the strike for the long run.
“We’re staying out as long as it takes until the game producers decide to come back to the negotiating table and be reasonable,” LaMarr said.
LaMarr has been a video game voice actor for a long time. He has lent his voice to video games such as Mortal Kombat X, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Injustice 2, as well as an appearance in Pulp Fiction.
SAG-AFTRA has also organized a protest at Batman publisher Warner Bros. Activision is one of a list of 11 companies the union has asked its members to protest, even though there hasn’t been an organized protest at the developer’s office.