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Voice Actors Struggle to Make a Living | Chicago Tribune

Dr. David Smith was quoted

October 29, 2017  | 1 min read
Todd C. Frankel's article in The Washington Post (reprinted in the Chicago Tribune) covers challenges for voice over actors making a living in the $24-billion gaming industry. Pepperdine Graziadio Associate Professor of Economics and Associate Provost for Online Programs David M. Smith, PhD, is quoted in the article, which focuses on a recent voice actor strike against 11 of the largest video game developers over bonus pay and safety issues relating to vocal health.
 
The resulting contract did not include royalty payments for voice actors, but maintains a flat-fee structure. Says Dr. Smith: "The principle of paying union actors residuals is something they are fundamentally against. I think they see it as a slippery slope. If they give an inch on this concept of royalties, it's a first step for others to ask for them." According to the article, game companies agreed to a 3% raise for the SAG-AFTRA minimum wage and a sliding upfront bonus schedule based on the number of sessions, maxing out at $2,100.