Video game actors strike for wage hikes, transparency

PLAYA VISTA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- SAG-AFTRA members are striking against the video-game industry, over issues ranging from pay to transparency.

The actors picketed outside Electronic Arts in Playa Vista on Monday, after what they call nearly two years of unsuccessful negotiations with 11 companies.

"We like working in video games. It's fun," said actor Phil Lamar. "But it becomes less fun when you feel like you're being disrespected and not getting paid what you're worth."

Besides more compensation, the actors are also looking for greater transparency in their work. Often, they said, companies don't even tell them the titles of the games they are working on.

But the companies said confidentiality has been a problem.

"We've had problems with performers who have signed nondisclosure agreements and then for whatever reason leak the name of the game," said Scott Witling, an attorney for gaming companies.

Still, Witling said the companies have agreed to some of the performers' demands, including giving them the code name of the project they are working on, and disclosing if it will involve profanity, sexual and violent content or racial slurs.

He also said the companies are agreeing to some additional compensation.
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