Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Jonathan Handel on November 3, 2016.
Over 350 SAG-AFTRA performers and their supporters picketed Warner Brothers’ WB Games unit Thursday in Burbank, marching under a blazing sun along a residential street in the shadow of the studio’s famed water tower and shouting chants that included “Death screams are on strike!” The union’s video game job action edged into its third week with no resolution in sight.
The picketers, who included actors responsible for voicing the death screams, creature noises and battle cries of such top games as the Batman: Arkham series, as well as those who do performance-capture work for such games, are focused on a handful of issues, notably a proposal for residual-like back-end compensation. The companies have refused that demand, and both sides are dug in.
“We are not going anywhere until we get a fair contract,” said union national executive director David White at a rally that concluded the hour-and-a-half picketing. In a statement read at the rally, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, who is in Miami — where the union has been attempting to unionize Telemundo — blasted the current, now-expired deal as a “substandard 20-year-old contract.”
“[The strike] is going to settle when the video game companies and their lawyer are willing to sit down and get to a fair contract,” said SAG-AFTRA executive vp Rebecca Damon in an interview. “It’s a billion-dollar industry, and they don’t want to share any of the profits. They don’t treat any of their workers right.” …