SAG-AFTRA Strike Concludes with AI Agreement, Hollywood Remains Divided

Hollywood Actors’ Union Ends 118-Day Strike with New AI Agreement

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) concluded its 118-day strike on November 9, reaching agreements on various proposed stipulations, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The union released a summary of its final deal with studios, outlining AI guidelines and providing a digital pamphlet detailing the agreed-upon regulations. The AI agreement is set to take effect 90 days after the agreement’s ratification, with terms covering AI definitions, digital replication of performers, digital alterations, and establishing semi-annual meetings on generative AI use.

The agreement defines and covers the creation, use, and alteration of “digital replicas” of performers, categorizing them based on employment with studios or independent creation. The deal introduces a new actor category called a “synthetic performer,” described as a “digitally-created asset” creating the impression of a natural performer. Background actors are shielded from potential replacement, as replicas cannot be used to meet background counts for the day. The agreement emphasizes the need for explicit and “conspicuous” consent during the replication process and for any future use, including digital alterations to previously recorded material.

Reactions to the agreement have been mixed within Hollywood, with some praising the deal and others expressing concerns about AI permissions. The end of the SAG-AFTRA strike follows the Writer’s Guild of America strike, concluding negotiations on industry practices, including AI usage in writer’s rooms.

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