×

SAG-AFTRA Draws More Than 500 to Video Game Strike Rally

SAG-AFTRA drew more than 500 supporters Thursday to a spirited rally as its video game strike moves into its fourth month.

“We are not going to stop until we have a fair contract for our members,” said David White, SAG-AFTRA national executive director. “This is not just about money. It’s about fair working conditions and secondary compensation.”

The union, which has already picketed Activision, Warner Bros., and Insomniac Games, marched from its Los Angeles headquarters to the park next to the La Brea Tar Pits for the rally.

Negotiations collapsed in October, resulting in SAG-AFTRA calling a strike on Oct. 21 against 11 video game producers: Insomniac Games; Warner Bros.; EA; Activision Publishing; Blindlight; Corps of Discovery Films; Disney Character Voices, Inc.; Formosa Interactive, LLC; Interactive Associates; Take 2 Interactive Software; and VoiceWorks Productions.

Negotiating committee member Phil LaMarr revealed at the rally that a dozen unnamed companies have agreed since the strike began to contracts with terms containing SAG-AFTRA’s proposal — which provide for residuals, vocal-stress protections, coverage of stunt coordinators, and disclosure of what the work entails before the performer agrees to the job.

“The new deals show that those companies realize that what we’re asking for is reasonable,” he added.

Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA, led the march and rally, as she has at the three previous pickets. She told the crowd, “You are the collective voice — performance matters.”

White told Variety at the rally that the performers union is amenable to re-starting negotiations, adding, “We are open 24/7.”

Scott Witlin, who represents the video game companies, has repeatedly blasted the union leadership for not allowing members to vote on the final offer, providing an immediate 9 percent pay hike.

“We remain disappointed that SAG-AFTRA leadership remains focused on outmoded ideas about how compensation is structured rather than the real dollars and cents that the video game companies put on the table,” he said Thursday.

“Indeed, we offered more money than SAG-AFTRA demanded in an attempt to avoid this strike. The union leaders walked away from real gains in order to try to fit this business into an old mold. That was an unfortunate position for them as it has only hurt performers who have lost work and who will continue to miss out on new work for as long as the strike continues.”

The rally drew members of WGA, DGA, Actors Equity, IATSE, Unite Here, SEIU, the Teamsters and the American Federation of Musicians, which provided a brass band. Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation, Rusty Hicks of the L.A. County Federation of Labor and Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu also spoke and rapper Murs performed.

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content