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Actors strike outside of San Diego Comic-Con

Actors in San Diego strike outside of Comic-Con
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 21, 2023

SAN DIEGO — Around noon of Friday, as day two of San Diego's comic-con filled the convention center, local actors stood across the street on strike.

The move comes after weeks of negotiations between The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached an agreement.

"This was a great idea to get people to know what the strike is all about, get our voices heard," said Mark Allyn, an actor and voice actor in San Diego who joined the picket line.

Many comic-con goers stopped to photograph and show their support of the actors.

"It means the world," said Allyn, who would typically be participating in comic-con, but cannot this year due to the strike.

Actors have been fighting for better wages and a larger cut of residuals associated with streaming platforms.

One large concern for many actors is the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

The unprecedented technology has been considered by Hollywood CEOs to implement background actors in films, which does not sit well for many human actors.

"Why would we want to hire a robot when we're the ones with the emotional ties to this planet. The emotional ties to this planet. The emotional ties and relationships with each other that makes it special. It makes it unique," said Mike Egbert, another actor at the protest on Friday.

Egbert's shirt read "Actors not AI".

"During COVID, what did you do to survive? You watched netflix, you watched movies, you watch disney right? We were there for you. We still want to be there for you, we just want to be able to pay our bills," said the actor.

While AMPTP, which is the entity negotiation on behalf of the studios, has not agreed to some of the actor's wishes, it says it has offered "historic pay and residual increases".