Over the past few months, Hollywood has been ground to a halt as voice actors and screenwriters hit the picket lines to fight against low pay, lack of safety protections, and the encroachment of AI technology, and while most of those demands were aimed at TV and film studios, the SAG-AFTRA union was taking a vote over an additional strike against video game companies in order to secure the same benefits for represented voice actors. That vote has now finished and 98% of union members have authorized the strike.
The strike itself hasn’t been scheduled, as contract negotiations between the union and major video game companies are still scheduled to happen between now and Thursday, September 28th, but if those talks fall through, then voice actors are threatening to begin the authorized strike.
“After five rounds of bargaining, it has become abundantly clear that the video game companies aren’t willing to meaningfully engage on the critical issues,” said the union’s national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “I remain hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement that meets members’ needs, but our members are done being exploited, and if these corporations aren’t willing to offer a fair deal, our next stop will be the picket lines.”
On the subject of the wider Hollywood strikes, the Writers Guild of America struck a deal this week with studios that met the majority of writers’ demands and all but ended the strike, though SAG-AFTRA’s own actors strike continues onward with no apparent end in sight, as new negotiations aren’t set to begin until sometime next week – and now the union is leveraging a strike in order to push for fair treatment of video game voice actors as well.