SAG-AFTRA members rally at Amazon office at The Domain

Saturday morning, SAG-AFTRA members from around central Texas gathered to rally against major studios the actors say are not giving them a livable wage. 

This includes Amazon, which has an office at the Domain in north Austin where union members gathered and handed out leaflets to get the message out to the community.

While the Writer's Guild of America started striking in May, SAG-AFTRA members joined in July, making this the first time in 63 years that both Hollywood's writers and actors have strike together.


There are a number of issues that make up this strike: two of the main demands are increased compensation and stopping artificial intelligence from using their image and likeness to create new content.

Actors also fear the addition of AI could eliminate entire groups of background actors and want to see the rules changed when it comes to self-taped auditions.

The changes come as streaming takes over entertainment, and as audiences get shorter TV seasons. Actors say that leads to smaller residual payments, which makes it hard to maintain a living with inflation.


"There is no formula for streaming, and in fact the studios won't even tell us how much money they're making from it," said Tom Schwarz, executive director of the local SAG-AFTRA union. "Our actors aren't making any money from that. We're fighting for dignity, the same dignity that every person needs. People think of actors as celebrities; we have 2,000 people right here in Texas who don't qualify for healthcare."

SAG-AFTRA represents 160,000 members, thousands of them here in Texas.