Written by 5:58 pm AI, SAG-AFTRA

– SAG Vote Criticized by Matthew Modine for Embracing AI Surrender

SAG Board member Matthew Modine said he “cannot endorse a contract that compromises the indep…

The most recent deal between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which ended the 118-day strike by players, was finalized earlier this month. Matthew Modine, renowned for his roles in “Full Metal Jacket” and “Stranger Things,” has announced his intention to vote against the approval of this agreement.

Expressing his reservations about the contract, Modine stressed his inability to endorse a deal that puts performers’ freedom and financial security at risk. Despite acknowledging some positive aspects and advantages of the agreement, he believes it is essential to protect the rights of fellow artists. As a member of the SAG-AFTRA National Board, Modine highlighted the significance of advocating for those who may be vulnerable, especially in terms of safeguarding their identities, voices, and physical characteristics from potential exploitation through artificial intelligence technology.

He criticized the coalition for failing to present a balanced perspective on the pros and cons of the agreement to its members, emphasizing the necessity for individuals to fully comprehend the terms they are agreeing to. Modine specifically raised concerns about the clauses related to actors’ approval concerning the utilization of AI by studios, questioning the ramifications of granting such approval.

Modine expressed serious concerns about the potential repercussions of allowing employers to use AI to replicate performers’ gestures and voices without adequate protections. He cautioned that members who consent to these conditions could be at risk of exploitation beyond their control, as the industry lacks adequate regulations to oversee the use of AI technology effectively.

Despite the National Board’s endorsement of the deal with an 86% majority, Modine, alongside a minority of dissenting voters, believed that the agreement was not thoroughly deliberated during the board meeting. He criticized the lack of transparency in discussing the complete details of the contract, likening it to being deceived about the contents of a meal.

Modine emphasized the significance of solidarity among SAG-AFTRA members in advocating for their rights and equitable treatment in the field. He highlighted the necessity of addressing the issues concerning AI and consent in the agreement to ensure the protection and welfare of performers.

Looking forward, Modine called for a reassessment of the agreement to tackle the raised concerns, particularly regarding the use of AI and consent. He stressed the need for a more profound understanding of the implications of granting approval in the context of advancing technology.

The voting process for the approval of the agreement, which began on November 14 and ended on December 5, is still ongoing. SAG-AFTRA is anticipated to disclose the complete terms of the agreement with the AMPTP shortly, following the summary that has been provided thus far.

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Last modified: December 1, 2023
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