On the heels of some positive strike-related news for Hollywood entertainment writers, the actors union is going in another direction: SAG-AFTRA has voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against ten major video game companies.
This comes as SAG-AFTRA continues its strike that began July 14 against major Hollywood producers.
Union officials say many of the same issues that actors are focused on for that strike -- higher wages and artificial intelligence -- are also issues they want to address in a new video-game contract.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher says the video-game business needs to give its members “an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career.”
She adds that the nearly unanimous vote to strike -- with 98.32% in favor -- comes from its membership that “understands the existential nature of these negotiations.” Drescher also pointed out the huge contrast in members' salaries versus video-game CEOs who “are making billions of dollars.”
The video-game industry walkout comes after a year where SAG-AFTRA contract with video-game producers -- called the Interactive Media Agreement -- was extended beyond its original expiration date.
The ten video companies include Activision Productions, Blindlight, Disney Character Voices, Electronic Arts Productions, Epic Games, Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Take 2 Productions, VoiceWorks Productions, and WB Games.
The union's last strike against the gaming companies lasted more than six months in 2016-2017.
On the weekend, negotiators of the Writers Guild of America voted to approve a tentative deal with Hollywood producers.