We may be living in an AI world, but for Bryan Cranston, the heartbeat of entertainment is all human.
The “Asteroid City” star criticized the use of artificial intelligence in the film and television industries during an appearance at the SAG-AFTRA “Rock the City For a Fair Contract” rally in Times Square, New York, on Tuesday amid the ongoing Hollywood actors strike.
During his speech, Cranston called out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who previously called actors’ strike activity “disturbing.”
“I know, sir, that you look (at) things through a different lens,” Cranston said. “We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots. We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity.”
During an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” earlier this month, Iger said writers’ and actors’ demands during the respective WGA and SAG strikes are unrealistic.
“I understand any labor organizations’ desire to work on the behalf of its members to get the most compensation and to be compensated fairly based on the value that they deliver,” Iger told host David Faber. “There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic. And they are adding to a set of challenges that this business is already facing that is quite frankly very disruptive and dangerous.”
Cranston said during his speech that the economic landscape of “our industry has changed exponentially.”
“We are not in the same business model that we were even 10 years ago,” Cranston said. “And yet, even though they admit that that is the truth in today’s economy, they are fighting us tooth and nail to stick to the same economic system that is outmoded, outdated. They want us to step back in time. We cannot and we will not do that.”
Hollywood actors on strike:‘This is a moment of history,’ says SAG chief Fran Drescher
’13 Reasons Why’ star Tommy Dorfman says she ‘barely qualified for insurance’ after show’s first season
Cranston hasn’t been the only one sounding off on the financial disparities actors have been facing in a changing industry. Actress Tommy Dorfman, who starred on the hit Netflix teen drama “13 Reasons Why” for two seasons, criticized the income she earned for the show’s first season in a Threads post Monday.
“My earnings for the entire first season of ’13 Reasons Why’ were $29,953.24 prior to agency and manager fees (20%) and taxes. 8 episodes over six months,” Dorfman wrote. “I did all of the promo and had key art for this show, flew round trip from NYC to SF to shoot for every episode, was kept for days without pay/working. I barely qualified for insurance.”
Dorfman added her compensation didn’t align with the show’s massive popularity.
“Within the first 28 days of release, the show’s season 1 garnered a total of 476 million view hours,” Dorfman wrote. “This is why we strike.”
‘We are the victims here’:Hollywood actors strike, shutting down the film, TV industry
Contributing: Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY; Jake Coyle, The Associated Press