Approximately 450 members and leaders of SAG-AFTRA, together with members of Unite Here, AFM, WGA West and IATSE, picketed Insomniac Games, Inc. in Burbank on Thursday. It was the union’s third picket since it began striking 11 video game corporations Oct. 21. SAG-AFTRA’s pickets of WB Games, Inc. and Voiceworks Productions, Inc. on Nov. 3 and EA on Oct. 24 drew some 700 combined.
Momentum from SAG-AFTRA’s largest picket of the month-old video game strike will help raise awareness in the gaming community as the holiday season approaches.
“Each picket has brought out more members than the last." said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “SAG-AFTRA members and our allies support this action and are continually raising the pressure on the video game companies to come back to the bargaining table with fair proposals so we can reach a deal.”
During the picket, Carteris asked members on site, and those watching on SAG-AFTRA’s Facebook Live feed, to tweet their support. The overwhelming response resulted in #PerformanceMatters becoming the no. 1 trending topic in Los Angeles on Twitter.
SAG-AFTRA is planning additional virtual actions during the holiday season to raise awareness in the gaming community of the video game corporations’ unfair treatment of SAG-AFTRA performers.
“The holiday season is a great time for SAG-AFTRA to get its message out because this is when gamers are thinking about new titles, and their favorite characters in those games. We are going to be a part of that conversation,” said Keythe Farley, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Interactive Negotiating Committee. “We’re asking gamers, when you pick up your favorite titles this holiday season, tell the video game corporations how much the voices you hear and the performances you see add to your gaming experience.”
Meanwhile, the video game employers' attorney is spouting debunked talking points instead of helping his clients reach a fair deal with SAG-AFTRA. Our members expect that when the negotiating committee submits a contract to them for ratification, it's because the committee that bargained it and the National Board both recommend ratification. In this case, no one is recommending their deal. Our members supported a strike authorization over these issues by a nearly 97-percent margin. Moreover, they have shown up in huge numbers to the pickets to let it be known that they overwhelmingly support this action.
Photos of the picket are available here. Credit: SAG-AFTRA.