Hollywood Studios Proposed Using AI to Scan and Own Extras’ Likenesses Forever

Background actors' likenesses would've been allowed to be used in any future projects after a single day's pay

hollywood studios extras ai proposal amptp sag aftra actors strike
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) officially declared its intention to strike on Thursday. Among the sticking points in negotiations between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is the use of AI.

    During a press conference, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said that the AMPTP made a so-called “groundbreaking” AI proposal that would allow the likenesses of film and television background performers to be used in perpetuity.

    “They propose that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day’s pay, and their company should own that scan of their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation,” he said. “So if you think that’s a groundbreaking proposal, I suggest you think again.”


    The use of artificial intelligence has also been a point of contention during the ongoing writers’ strike, in which the Writers Guild of America has demanded the AMPTP ban AI bots from writing or rewriting material.

    Read our explainers about the SAG-AFTRA strike and the WGA strike to find out everything you need to know.

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