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What is the significance of SAG-AFTRA's public display of disdain towards vocal performances in the entertainment industry?

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing actors and media professionals, has a history of treating voice acting as a lesser form of acting, as seen in the difference in rate growths between theatrical acting and voice acting.

While the minimum guarantee for both theatrical and voice actors is generally identical, the average increase in rates for every 10 minutes of performance for theatrical actors is around 3%, compared to a lower rate for voice actors.

SAG-AFTRA recently signed a deal with Replica Studios, an AI voice technology company, causing concerns among voice actors who fear the impact of AI on their profession.

This agreement allows professional voice over artists to explore new employment opportunities with industry-leading protections tailored to AI technology.

Celebrities like Scarlett Johansson have expressed concerns over AI-generated performances, including those created by ChatGPT.

SAG-AFTRA has characterized the deal as a way for professional voice over artists to safely explore new employment opportunities for their digital voice replicas with industry-leading protections.

This is not the first time SAG-AFTRA has signed an agreement with an AI voice actor company, as they previously introduced a groundbreaking AI voice agreement during CES in 2024.

The SAG-AFTRA contract ratification has raised concerns among voice actors, specifically within the video game voice acting community, with many expressing discomfort on Twitter.

The SAG-AFTRA agreement with Replica Studios will enable the company to engage SAG-AFTRA members under a fair and ethical agreement to safely create and license a digital replica of their voice.

This deal allows SAG-AFTRA members to use their digital voice replicas for commercial and non-commercial purposes, as well as in various media formats.

SAG-AFTRA members have ratified new three-year contracts for voice actors who work on animated TV shows, addressing the same concerns that fueled last year's 118-day strike.

In response to public criticism, SAG-AFTRA has applauded Scarlett Johansson for rebuking OpenAI, demonstrating the union's commitment to protecting the rights of its members.

Despite the potential disruption AI poses to the voice acting industry, it also provides opportunities for voice actors to expand their skillset and explore new avenues of expression.

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