A few issues come to mind. I’m not sure actors who have trained would be interested in competing with influencers for acting roles. While it’s still unclear the actual metrics SAG/AFTRA will use to define “influencers” something tells me that not every Thirst Trap will qualify unless they have a massive following and tons of sponsors.
Though I’m sure they will either way. Schtick just won’t die and your’e gonna see a whole lot of it in the coming years. I also wonder what that will do to the craft of acting. This seems to lower the barrier to entry to those who are fortunate or resourceful enough to become influencers (it is not an egalitarian prcoess) and at the same time, at least according to this information raise the bar for actors who are generating content online by requiring them to be “the influencer also must be incorporated as a business.” This is expensive for actors, but not for influencers. Incorporation and LLCs requires money, and a good amount. Perhaps the Union should clarify as many small businesses operate under DBA . I hope this isn’t the case as it would seem a bit unfair to those who put in the time. There is a lack of diversity among influencers and that needs addressing as well.
I am still looking at the part of the SAG/AFTRA announcement where it says if we (actors and SAG/AFTRA members) want to become influencers (we likely have to show somebody a corpse on Youtube, or I don’t know….get half naked and scream for advertiser dollars) we must have a corporation?
Essentially it seems to be saying. If you have money, we’ll take some. Actors on the other hand…you must have a corporation set up to be considered an influencer. I hope that’s not too literal of reading of those last lines of the article. The fees I paid to join BOTH AFTRA and SAG and all of the courses I’ve invested in over the decades, the training. Come on SAG/AFTRA. I agree with another SAG sister who said influencers need their own sub-union. NO way in hell rich influencers (and that’s 90% of them) because you don’t become an influencer unless you’ve amassed a super following, should be competing with struggling actors. No way, no how, especially since TikTok is very active in Creator Suppression especially of people of color. Essentially, this will be like big tech christening the acting workers of tomorrow. It won’t based on talent but you ability to debase yourself for advertisers. Whoever agreed to this should call me, they need to know a few facts. Did the Union vote on this?! Not all Influencers are debasing themselves, but many are.
My Open Letter to SAG/AFTRA
You did good to put 45 under scrutiny. One step forward. But letting influencers join the union without separation is TWO steps back and a slap in the face to every struggling actor who paid to join AFTRA, then paid again to join SAG. I’m not just speaking of financial payments, but the time and expense of honing our craft and managing somehow to keep our integrity intact over the years and even decades. This decision is completely tone-deaf as companies, specifically TiKTok is actively suppressing the voices of POC, specifically black creators. Did you know that?So now you have unwittingly placed another barrier for all actors to overcome. Yes, I admit, it’s hard to make a moral or ethical argument in the face of so much tempting lucre, forcing union members to compete against well-heeled individuals with big bank accounts. (Most influences have a good income compared to actors, as you can’t even qualify for advertising unless you have amassed a following) While, yes you may fatten your bottom line, this will ultimately hurt the union. These factors should discussed with union members, and voted on in a clear way. Moves like this is exactly why shtick won’t die. Now we will have tech companies and advertisers christening…not who will be a star, but who will be working actors. Good work.Look at me, I was so mad I didn’t even have time to comb my hair before addressing this issue. That last line was sarcasm. BTW, Did we even vote on this issue? Because if we did I missed it.