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SAG-AFTRA Arizona members rally as a part of nationwide strike for TV, movie employee protections, increased wages

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Members of the Arizona-Utah chapter of the Display screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Tv and Radio Artists
rallied in Phoenix on Sunday to demand elevated advantages and
residuals, prohibition of synthetic intelligence content material and
protections towards unauthorized use of their likeness.

SAG-AFTRA native leaders and members have been joined on the U.A. Native 469
union corridor by leaders of native chapters of leisure unions,
together with the Actors’ Fairness Affiliation, the Worldwide Alliance of
Theatrical Stage Workers and the American Federation of Musicians, as
effectively as different native union leaders.

Amanda Melby, the president of SAG-AFTRA Arizona-Utah, defined to
the assembled crowd how the nationwide strike has impacted native members.
Melby mentioned there are over 1,000 SAG-AFTRA members in Arizona and Utah
who’ve been on strike since July 14 with the nationwide union. The
actors joined the Writers’ Guild of America, which has been on strike
since Could 2. The strikes have stopped manufacturing on movies and TV sequence.

“It impacts us right here as a result of many people should go and work outdoors of
this market to make a dwelling,” Melby mentioned in a speech. “It impacts us
right here as a result of the work is coming right here, and when it does, we’d like the identical
protections and the identical working situations supplied in greater markets.
It impacts us right here as a result of it’s already arduous to work on this business,
particularly in a right-to-work state.”

Melby informed Cronkite Information in an interview that there are productions
with plans to shoot in Arizona that at the moment are on pause, which has an
impression on not simply actors, however the native economic system as effectively.

Angie Seger, an agent with Signature Fashions and Expertise in Scottsdale, mentioned in an interview {that a} tax incentive
that went into impact this 12 months was anticipated to convey extra work to
Arizona, however now that these productions are stalled, the financial
advantages are stalled as effectively.

“We have been actually excited for the theatrical facets, for what they
would convey to Arizona – not just for the actors, but additionally the crew, and
eating places, lodges, espresso outlets, all these issues that have an effect on the
economic system,” Seger mentioned. “It impacts all of Arizona.”

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there have been 340 actors working in Arizona and 770 in Utah as of Could 2022.

One other demand of native union leaders who spoke on the rally was
updating contracts to mirror advances in movie and tv, like
streaming and AI-generated content material.

Expertise can’t “change the guts and the humanity that we breathe
into all the things we do,” Gil Berry, a member of the Actors’ Fairness
Affiliation, mentioned in a speech on Sunday.

Seger mentioned that with the expertise in each Hollywood and Arizona,
studios should not have any motive to make use of AI, which might solely change the
“soul and intentions” of actors. She additionally hopes studios understand that
Arizona has quite a bit to supply the movie and TV industries.

“It’s actually essential that folks in different markets perceive we
have unbelievable expertise,” Seger mentioned. “We have now unbelievable expertise all
throughout the board. And it simply blows my thoughts that we aren’t tapping into
that extra.”

Although an finish date for the strike just isn’t but clear, Melby informed
Cronkite Information that she stays hopeful that the union can have its
calls for met and are available again to work throughout the nation stronger than
earlier than.

“I’m an optimist,” Melby mentioned. “So I’m at all times hopeful that work will
be fruitful and useful, and that’s what I’m engaged on, to attempt to
make that dream come true and to proceed to have higher work
alternatives for our members.”

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