Dispatches From The Picket Lines: One Actor’s Tale Of A Recent AI Encounter, A Mandalorian Sighting & More

It’s Day 13 of the SAG-AFTRA strike and Day 86 of the WGA strike.

Actor Adam Faison took a break from marching outside Disney in Burbank on Wednesday to speak with Deadline, calling artificial intelligence one of his primary concerns for the future of his profession and the industry at large.

His trepidation was informed by an unnerving encounter with the technology that he had within the past year, before the launch of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes and perhaps before AI was even breaking so prevalently into the public discourse. The project on which he was forced to grapple with AI was out of the “gaming world,” he said, and called for body scanning.

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“Without going into too much detail, there was a recent situation where I was in negotiations with a company and they were very, very ornery and very trepidatious about even talking about AI,” said Faison, whose credits include last year’s Hellraiser, Yes Day and Into the Dark and who is currently on an indefinite hiatus from the new Starz series The Venery of Samantha Bird.

While he said he and his reps “fought really hard” to secure a deal, offering protections as far as future uses of his likeness, Faison was, in the end, forced to walk away.

“It was unfortunate because I was passionate about [the project] and would have really loved to do it, but they really didn’t want to budge on anything. It was almost like, ’You should be grateful to be doing this,’” Faison recalled. This was the moment that felt like “a wake-up call,” as far as where Hollywood is headed.

“It was a very nerve-wracking thing to think I’m just going to sign over my body and my face and my likeness and my voice for this thing ‘in good faith’ that it wouldn’t be [exploited],” he said. “At this point, it feels like [the companies are] taking the one thing we have.”

Also at Disney today was Colin Farrell, whose upcoming Max series The Penguin saw its production halted more than once by WGA picketers in New York back in May. He spoke briefly to fellow demonstrators today. Among those joining him: Mission: Impossible star Shea Whigham.

At Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles, demonstrators included Fabian Alomar and Carlos Ayala, who star in Hulu’s series This Fool. Both talked about the issues of residuals and health insurance.

“A lot of us came from the bottom, started at the background,” Alomar said. “To make it here, and to be an actor – we just want to get our fair share, and for everyone to be treated the same.”

At Amazon Studios in Culver City, picketers included a This Is Us reunion of sorts with Mandy Moore, Chris Sullivan and Jon Huertas on the lines, along with a certain Star Wars universe character making the jump to light speed for the demonstration.

In New York, picketers on the lines included Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay and Oscar winner Julianne Moore. Both were seen speaking with SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

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