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US Actors Vote For Potential Video Game Strike Amid Ongoing Hollywood Disputes

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US Actors Vote For Potential Video Game Strike Amid Ongoing Hollywood Disputes
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) US actors, under the Sag-Aftra union, have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a potential strike against the gaming industry, with a 98% majority. This comes on the heels of ongoing strikes in the film and TV sectors. The actors' concerns revolve around pay and the implications of artificial intelligence in their professions.

While writers recently reached a tentative agreement after a five-month-long dispute, the actors' vote doesn't necessarily mean a strike will happen. However, it does empower the union to initiate one if the upcoming negotiations, set to resume on Tuesday, don't yield positive results.

Sag-Aftra president Fran Drescher emphasized the urgency of the situation, urging video game companies to take the negotiations seriously. She highlighted the vast profits these companies make and the lavish compensations their CEOs receive, contrasting it with the challenges actors face in maintaining a sustainable career in video games.

The existing agreement for video game performers, which lapsed in November, has been getting monthly extensions. The union has been in talks with major gaming corporations like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and Disney Character Voices.

In a statement, a representative for these companies expressed their commitment to "negotiate in good faith" and remained hopeful about reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

The gaming industry is witnessing a surge in participation from A-list actors and celebrities, with names like Kit Harington, Rami Malek, and Conan O'Brien lending their voices and likenesses to video game characters. This trend underscores the increasing convergence of the entertainment and gaming sectors. Idris Elba, recently cast as Solomon Reed in the new expansion for Cyberpunk 2077 titled "Phantom Liberty," shared his insights on this phenomenon with BBC News. He remarked that while collaborations between actors and the gaming industry aren't new, the influx of renowned film actors into the gaming scene is a notable shift. Elba described it as "a sign of the times," highlighting the growing recognition of video games as a significant medium for actors. This trend not only elevates the narrative depth and cinematic quality of games but also broadens the horizons for actors, offering them diverse platforms to showcase their talent.

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