The dual SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America (WGA) strikes have brought most major American film and tv production to a standstill. Although the majority of work for members of both guilds is currently off the table, voice actors still have numerous options for working during the strike, without having to cross the strike picket line.
According to the National Association of Voice Actors (NAVA), the SAG-AFTRA strike affects only certain activities related to voice acting. Prohibited categories under the SAG-AFTRA strike are as follows:
- Feature-length animated films
- ADR and voice matching for tv and films
- Narration for feature films
To avoid career repercussions, actors must avoid these types of work entirely for the duration of the strike, especially in cases where once-union productions have turned non-union to avoid the strike.
While SAG-AFTRA is striking over their tv and theatrical contracts, the union has numerous other contracts that are unaffected by the strike. Most notably, the union’s Television Animation Agreement and New Media Animation Agreement are not being struck, which means that recording for episodic and long-form animation programs for television and new media (i.e. streaming platforms) can continue uninterrupted.
It’s a lucky break for the entire animation industry, because new voice recordings means that production can continue on series without pause. (Animation is doubly lucky at this moment in history because the majority of U.S. animated series also aren’t impacted the WGA strike.)
Additionally, voice actors are allowed to continue doing voiceover in the following areas:
- Interactive (video games, vr, ar)
- Non-broadcast corporate narration
- Non-broadcast explainers
- Phone systems
- In-show narration for cable shows
- New media animation
For those who want more explicit details, NAVA president and founder Tim Friedlander hosted an extended SAG-AFTRA strike Q&A for voice actors, which is available to watch below:
Cartoon Brew has reached out to SAG-AFTRA for additional comment.
Image at top: The Flintstones voice actors, left to right, Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl, and Bea Benaderet. Colorized photo, original by Allan Grant via Life.