November 11, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Los Angeles, CA – “Death screams are on strike!” more than 350 people chanted Nov. 3 while picketing Warner Bros.’ WB Games unit in Burbank, supporting the strike by SAG-AFTRA video-game performers.
Members of the American Federation of Musicians, The Animation Guild, IATSE, and the Writers Guild of America joined the actors who voice the death screams, creature noises, and battle cries of games such as the Batman: Arkham series. Battle lines in the strike, now in its third week, have hardened as the video-game companies have refused the union’s demand that they pay performers back-end compensation similar to residuals. “[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,” SAG-AFTRA executive vice-president Rebecca Damon told the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a billion-dollar industry, and they don’t want to share any of the profits.” Other issues include performers not being told in advance what their role will be, having coordinators on set to ensure that stunts are done safely, and avoiding vocal-cord damage from spending four-hour sessions recording screams. Read more