There’s some tension brewing beneath the surface of your favorite animated shows. According to Cartoon Brew and Variety, a union representing voice actors is now threatening to strike against streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
According to the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (or SAG-AFTRA), subscription-based streaming services may have been offering their voice actors subpar terms. When it comes to these platforms’ animated series, some producers have failed to offer scale minimums or residuals. This means that some voice actors are possibly being paid for less than the industry standard and that they’re not collecting profits from repeat viewings, something that voice actors would typically see if they were working on traditional shows. Led by union president Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA is asking for a strike authorization. If more than 75 percent of the union’s members approve the strike by July 18, then the strike will be authorized by SAG-AFTRA’s national board.
“Animation performers need the power of a strike authorization to avoid losing the hard-fought gains that generations of performers before them have struggled to win,” Carteris wrote in her letter. “That is why the National Board has unanimously recommended that you vote YES to authorize a strike, if necessary, of these agreements. A strike authorization does not mean that a strike will necessarily happen, but it gives animation performers an additional tool to negotiate their contracts.”
A more detailed explanation of the union’s complaints is below:
Because that work is not covered by the traditional terms of our TV Animation Agreements, our animation performers do not have the benefit of scale minimums when they work on these programs, the overwhelming majority of which will never pay residuals for any new media exhibition. In other words, when you go to work on an animated program made for new media, the producer can pay you as little as you are willing to accept and will likely be able to use the program on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, etc. for subscribers to view or customers to pay to download forever without ever paying you a residual.
Adding to this already complicated situation is the fact that voice actors are already working under expired contracts. The contracts expired on June 30, 2017 but negotiations stalled between SAG-AFTRA and the entertainment companies. A few years ago, traditional television was responsible for most of the voice acting jobs on the market. That has since changed. Since last year’s contract, 22 new animated programs have premiered on streaming compared to basic cable’s 23 new shows. Streaming is catching up, which means this problem needed to be addressed a while ago.
So far several big-name voice actors have agreed to the strike authorization including Pamela Adlon, Ed Asner, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellanata, Nick Kroll, Laraine Newman, Patton Oswalt, Cassandra Peterson, and Mindy Sterling.
Source : https://decider.com/2018/07/11/voice-actors-threaten-to-strike-against-streaming/