Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Natalie Jarvey on October 24, 2016.
Rain-filled skies gave way to sun on Monday as the first few SAG-AFTRA members arrived at the Playa Vista offices of Electronic Arts to picket in support of the union’s strike against the nearly $100 billion video game industry.
As the picketers trickled in, they donned black union T-shirts, picked up white signs and at around 10:30 a.m. began to march, shouting a rotating selection of tried-and-true chants, including: “What do we want? Fair contracts. When do we want them? Now. What do we want? Transparency. When do we want it? Now.”
The four-day-old strike centers around compensation for actors who lend their voices, complete stunts and perform motion capture work for hugely popular titles released by EA, Activision Blizzard and other gaming companies. During its most recent contract renegotiation, which began about two years ago, SAG-AFTRA asked the video game employers to adopt an agreement that would guarantee voice actors residuals from successful games. Among other key negotiating points was a demand for increased transparency around the projects actors are hired to work on, including the title of the game, which is often withheld to avoid leaks to press. …