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Kerry Washington on AI aspect of SAG-AFTRA strike: “It’s my face”

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On Wednesday, thousands of SAG-AFTRA picketers gathered near the Disney lot in Burbank, California, in a show of strength as the performers’ union strike marked its 111th day. 

One of the protesters, Emmy-winning Scandal veteran Kerry Washington, spoke about one of the union’s main issues with the studios: the use of AI to replace actors without compensation. 

“AI is really important because it’s my voice. It’s my face,” she told ABC News. “I want to make sure my voice and face are doing the things I want them to do.”

She added of the public’s support as the strike lingers, “You really feel the passion people have for us to really end this.”

The demonstration took place as negotiators on both sides of the table continued their talks. 

ABC News also caught up with SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who has been seen at SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher‘s side throughout the strike. 

“I think it’s highly unlikely we reach a deal today,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “We have significant issues we’re still working on.”

He said AI has been a big sticking point.

The negotiator added, “We are closer than we were in the past. But the thing is all of these issues are sort of converging towards a point.”

He expressed, “I don’t know if I would say we’re extremely close,” adding of a potential deal with studios, “I hope it’s really soon.”

On Monday, the union’s negotiating committee telegraphed to members that a new deal — and an end to the strike — might not be immediate.

“While talks over the past week have been productive, we remain far apart on key issues,” SAG-AFTRA noted, calling for its members to turn out in force this week.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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