Video Game Voice Actor Strike Continues With Virtual Picket Line Today

SAG-AFTRA wants its members to post about "#Performancematters" today.

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Following a series of physical pickets at developers like EA and Insomniac Games over the ongoing voice actor strike, the union representing the actors is launching a virtual picket line on social media today. SAG-AFTRA is asking its members to speak up on Twitter, in part to show that "[the union's] greatest strength is [its] unity."

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Via Deadline, SAG-AFTRA says that starting at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET today, its members should retweet SAG-AFTRA's Twitter posts and share its Facebook stories. The union is also calling on its members to take a "solidarity selfie or group photo," using the hashtag #PerformanceMatters.

Here are some sample tweets that SAG-AFTRA is recommending that people use:

  • "@EA and @Activision, negotiate a fair contract! #PerformanceMatters"
  • "@EA and @Activision, we love the characters in your games! Make a fair deal because #PerformanceMatters"
  • "@EA and @Activision, you are causing your performers vocal stress! #PerformanceMatters"

One of the key elements of the strike, which started on October 21, is around residual payments. The gaming industry refuses to offer residual payment bonuses and other profit-sharing opportunities, according to the union. Specifically, SAG-AFTRA asked that its performers receive an additional "full-scale payment" for every 500,000 units sold, for a maximum of four secondary payments if a game sells 2 million copies.

Check out GameSpot's previous coverage of the voice actor strike to learn more about what's going on and what each side wants.

Overwatch voice actor Crispin Freeman, who voices Winston, spoke to GameSpot recently about the strike and why voice actors matter. "We negotiated with them for 19 months in good faith," Freeman said. "It's the longest negotiation SAG-AFTRA has ever done. It was the last thing we wanted to do, but they left us with no choice."

You can read the full interview here; we'll report back with more details on the strike in the days and weeks ahead.

SAG-AFTRA most recently picketed Insomniac Games; more than 450 members and allies attended.

"We're staying out as long as it takes until the game producers decide to come back to the bargaining table and be reasonable," said actor Phil LaMarr, who is a member of the union's negotiating committee.

LaMarr, who appeared in Pulp Fiction, is a veteran video game voice actor. Some of his credits include Mortal Kombat X, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Injustice 2.

SAG-AFTRA has also picketed Batman publisher Warner Bros. Activision is one of the 11 companies that the union has asked its members to strike, though there doesn't appear to have been an organized picket at the developer's office.

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