July 20, 2023
New York, N.Y.: The Authors Guild stands in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG-AFTRA represents the interests of talented actors, broadcasters, and performers across various platforms, and their ongoing efforts to secure fair treatment and just compensation resonate deeply with authors, journalists, and creative professionals in all fields.
In an era marked by profound technological advancements and the consolidation of power within the creative industries, SAG-AFTRA’s unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of performers is commendable. SAG-AFTRA’s demands for better pay and working conditions in the context of generative AI are crucial in addressing the challenges faced by performers in today’s rapidly changing industry. We stand with SAG-AFTRA in emphasizing the importance of contract language that protects actors and performers from exploitation and ensures consent and fair compensation when their identity and talent are used.
The refusal of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to offer a fair agreement that addresses these existential threats is disheartening. We share SAG-AFTRA’s concern that wages, craft, creative freedom, and the power of the union have all been undermined in the last decade. It is imperative that a seismic realignment of minimum pay, new media residuals, exclusivity carveouts, and other terms takes place to protect the future of the profession.
In addition, the Authors Guild supports SAG-AFTRA’s fight for a deal that reestablishes dignity in the casting practice. Regulating how self-tapes are used is essential, particularly as it poses a major problem for working-class actors. It is crucial to protect not just our likenesses but also ensure that we are well compensated when any of our work is used to train AI.
The Authors Guild firmly believes that the future of the creative professions relies on addressing these pressing concerns. It is crucial for industry stakeholders, including the AMPTP, to recognize the enormous shifts in the industry and economy that have had a detrimental impact on those who perform labor for the studios.
“We, as authors, understand the vital role that actors and performers play in bringing stories to life. Their talent and dedication enrich our literary works and captivate audiences worldwide,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “We stand with our SAG-AFTRA colleagues, as their fight for fair treatment resonates with our own pursuit of just and equitable conditions for creators in the publishing industry.”
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