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Claire Sigler is a sophomore at Rockbridge County High School. This is her first year as a Prowler reporter and she is ecstatic to be involved with the school's newspaper. In her free time, Sigler enjoys...

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Actors’ Fight for Rights Come to an End in the SAG-AFTRA Strike

Actor+Esra+Knight+speaking+at+a+SAG-AFTRA+rally%2C+photo+courtesy+of+AP+News+Entertainment+Instagram+page
Actor Esra Knight speaking at a SAG-AFTRA rally, photo courtesy of AP News Entertainment Instagram page

The Actors’ Strike comes to an End

 

For 118 days, actors across the U.S. have been fighting for their right to fair compensation and prevention of AI use that impersonates actors. The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMTP) reached a tentative agreement on Nov. 9 to end the strike, and the movement was approved on Nov. 10.  According to apnews.com, “The union valued the deal at over a billion dollars. Crabtree-Ireland said the deal includes boosts to minimum payments to actors, a greater share of streaming revenue going to performers, a bolstering of benefit plans and protections against the unfettered use of artificial intelligence in recreating performances.” . 

With the rapidly changing entertainment industry in recent years came a new decrease in actors’ rights. Streaming has become vastly popular and the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has left many unanswered questions about the entertainment industry. The use of streaming services has reduced actors’ compensation for the use of movies/shows they’re in.

AI uses machine learning in order to mimic human intelligence. AI takes resources from the internet and combines them in order to “learn” about the subject. This can cause an issue because such actions could be classified as copyright (in terms of creating art and music), or in the case of imitating actors, impersonation. AI could make a simulation of an actor and make it perform roles without the actual actor ever knowing. In fear of AI stealing many actors’ jobs and identities, along with other pre-existing issues, actors went on strike. According to apnews.com, the CEO of Walt Disney Studios, Bob Iger, said that the strike came at “the worst time in the world”, since it added to the pre-existing issues in the industry.  

Art and theater teacher, Ms. Erin Allen, is very passionate about the strike.

“I’m not surprised that the actors went on strike, since a lot of the scales for pay and regulations that were put in place were antiquated. They were for a time when technology hadn’t crested as it has,” said Allen. 

“If writers’ and actors’ works that they’re a part of are being sold and streamed more, then they need to be getting some of the benefits as well. This compensation was trickling down to them from the studios and people on the top down to the base, where the writers and actors are.”

On July 14, the actors went on strike. The SAG-AFTRA restricted actors participating in the strike from making appearances at publicized events promoting shows/movies they’re in, such as red carpet events and award shows. Many famous actors went on strike with SAG-AFTRA, such as George Cloony, Sean Astin, Laura Linny, ect.. 

At a rally, Astin stated, “Any background actors out there, any stunt performers, singers and dancers and puppeteers and pilots? We represent all of you! I invoke the name of my mother Patty Duke, former president of the Screen Actors Guild, mama come down here right now and look at these people!” 

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About the Contributor
Bella Fitch
Bella Fitch, Reporter
Sophomore Bella Fitch is a first-year reporter for the Prowler. She decided to join the Prowler because she is passionate about writing. She thought it would be a fun change of pace to write articles and learn a new writing style. Outside of school, Fitch  takes part in the RCHS marching band, Rockbridge Youth Choral, and the Blue Forest Theater Academy’s spring productions. In her free time she likes to draw, cook, and read. When she is not  exploring new cuisines or singing along to her favorite musicals, she likes to spend some time out in the pastures with her goats. Some of the school subjects she is most passionate about include english, history, band, and art. 

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