Coffee Talk

Good morning, free chatters of Coffee Talk. It’s Thursday, and we’ve got things to discuss. Here at Coffee Talk, it’s your space to play with as you choose, but today our alternative topic was inspired by one of our own.

Today’s Topic

I was doing my own research on the SAG-AFTRA strike, having not paid a lot of attention to what’s been going on since July 14.

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is fighting for fair wages etc. from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Also striking against the AMPTP is the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA).

  • Who is the AMPTP? Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros.), television networks (including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC), streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, and Amazon, some individual cable networks, and other independent film and tv producers.

Both entities are asking for modern contracts for modern times, in the age of artificial intelligence and its role in the entertainment industry.

Writers and actors are asking for similar provisions from these production companies. Those include wages and residuals income to keep up with inflation and current business practices, helping provide for pensions and health care costs.

The AMPTP has offered minimal increases that do NOT keep up with inflation, outright REJECTIONS for many asks, and contract talks have gone dark.

One of the primary provisions being asked for regards AI.

Performers need the protection of our images and performances to prevent replacement of human performances by artificial intelligence technology.

Actors want informed consent and fair compensation when a “digital replica” is made or when their performance is changed using AI.

AMPTP’S answer?

We want to be able to scan a background performer’s image, pay them for a half a day’s labor, and then use an individual’s likeness for any purpose forever without their consent. We also want to be able to make changes to principal performers’ dialogue, and even create new scenes, without informed consent. And we want to be able to use someone’s images, likenesses, and performances to train new generative AI systems without consent or compensation.

Read more from the SAG-AFTRA website here.

What are your thoughts?

Let’s use this space to contrast and compare, and for example:

Make it a good Thursday, the weekend is up next!