February 25, 2024

Erik Passoja: Why SAG/Aftra is striking

Actor Erik Passoja posted this on his Facebook account.

Just to give you an idea of what’s at stake with SAG/AFTRA: back in 2014, I worked on “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”. I played a Belgian geneticist in several scenes, doing mocap work with Kevin Spacey (I know, don’t.).
I was compensated for the face scanning process and the acting work. But what happened next was unexpected.
A friend called me after the game’s release, saying, “Hey, my son just shot you!”
Turns out, my likeness was also used in the online PvP game. Players can shoot me in the face, blow me up, stab me, push me off a cliff, and burn me alive, all while I scream and die in extreme violence.
This is not a Belgian geneticist. This is a completely different character.
This game grossed over a billion dollars. The online version, where players pay a monthly subscription to, among other things, play my character and/or kill my character, was a significant part of that revenue.
All I received was the original session fee. I had no say in how my likeness was used, or that it would be subjected to such violence.
Kevin Spacey has never been in a movie that grossed > $1 billion dollars. Imagine if I had scenes in a movie with Kevin Spacey. Negotiations. Residuals. And you wouldn’t be able to murder my likeness.
If you believe that producers will fairly handle AI without specific legal boundaries, think again. We need to revolutionize actor compensation for the digital age. #FairCompensation #DigitalRights #ActorLife
P.S. In 2014, “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” made more than Taylor Swift’s new album “1989”, Disney/Pixar’s “Frozen”, and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” COMBINED. These were the top-selling album and the top two box office movies of 2014.