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Screen Actors Guild Members Reject Video Game Deal

Screen Actors Guild Members Reject Video Game Deal

October 29, 2009 | By Kris Graft

October 29, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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Members of the Screen Actors Guild this week rejected a proposed video game contract from game companies, asking video game employers to return to negotiations, but it's unclear if game companies are willing to come back to the bargaining table.

Hollywood trade website Variety said the rejection comes a week and a half after SAG sent the contract out to four member caucuses in Chicago, Hollywood, New York, and San Francisco. SAG members voted against the contract 73-42.

A major point of contention emerged at the Hollywood member caucus, which took issue with the new category of "atmospheric performer." Employers of voice talent would pay actors "to perform up to 20 voices of up to 300 words at the daily base rate," Variety said. SAG members felt that would constitute a reduction from the current deal.

Video game industry rep Scott Witlin argued that the "atmospheric performer" provision would allow actors to secure more work overall.

Performers' union American Federation of Television and Radio Artists recently sent out a similar proposal to its members, who have until November 12 to respond. SAG member Peter Kwong, who worked on games including Narc and Goldeneye: Rogue Agent said, "From the actor's point of view, this is a lousy contract -- particularly in the multiple voices area. I'm encouraging AFTRA members to vote this down."

AFTRA and SAG have been working with video game producers to develop new contracts, and earlier this month, the unions made considerable additions and changes to their contracts with developers.


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