• SAG-AFTRA calls out Video Game Publishers

    by  • December 9, 2016 • Issues, News

    One of the recent clashes around IP rights reported somewhat recently in news media concerns residuals for voice actors. SAG-AFTRA called for a strike against 11 video game publishers this past October.

    “The strike comes in light of an unsuccessful 19 months of negotiations after the existing labor contract known as the Interactive Media Agreement expired in late 2014. Overall, the strike is an effort to provide more secondary compensation along with other concerns, such as transparency upon hiring talent and on-set safety precautions.”

    and from Deadline.com:

    “Going into the contract talks, which broke off Wednesday, the union insisted it was time for the $20 billion-a-year gaming industry to start paying residuals, just like films, TV shows and commercials do. The industry refused, saying that paying residuals would upend its business model.”

    Surprising, also, was how the voice of Siri came to be:

    I’m The Voice Of Siri: And No, Apple Didn’t Pay (Or Warn) Me

    “I didn’t know it was the Siri gig; I didn’t realize anyone was auditioning me for it. I found out I was Siri when Siri launched. A fellow voice actor emailed me and said, ‘We’re playing around with this new iPhone; isn’t this you?’ And I was just like, ‘What?'”

    Residuals typically account for 40% or more of income for voice artists, an amount needed to sustain them between gigs. Yet, “new media” has been reluctant to accept “old media” practices.

    Listen to a brief interview with Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, explain some of the issues, and propose a possible solution:

    For further recommendations needed to promote and grow all artistic disciplines across all sectors, please refer to MALC’s recent Labor Policy paper:



    The goal of the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition (MALC) is to ensure that Massachusetts artists of all disciplines have a voice in public dialogs, decisions, and key public policy initiatives that impact the artists community and the creative economy. MALC works to ensure that artists have a permanent place at the policy making table.