LOS ANGELES — SAG-AFTRA applauds the California Assembly and Senate, which each voted this week to pass Assembly Bill 602, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, and Senator Connie Leyva, D-Chino. This legislation provides meaningful justice for victims, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members, of nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deepfakes.”    

AB 602 targets companies and individuals who create and distribute these harmful videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. By voting in favor of this legislation, lawmakers have sent a message that the state will not stand for the image-based sexual abuse of any Californian. 

“We’re thrilled lawmakers in Sacramento voted in favor of AB 602,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “New technology does not change the expectation that consent is absolutely necessary before a person is depicted in sexually explicit material. For decades, SAG-AFTRA has fought for the rights of performers to control their images and receive protections while filming scenes that contain nudity. This legislation continues that long history.”

Added SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White, “We urge Gov. Newsom to sign AB 602. Our laws need to be responsive to a digital environment in which technology is weaponized and getting more advanced by the day. Without clear prohibitions and consent requirements, SAG-AFTRA members will continue to be exploited for financial gain. This is an opportunity for California to be a global leader on the rapidly escalating threat of ‘deepfake’ videos.”

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