SAG-AFTRA Accuses PR Firm of Using Its Name to Create Video Game Strike Confusion

Union says firm is using its name for website and on Twitter

Attorneys for SAG-AFTRA accused a public relations firm Friday of using its name to create a website and Twitter handle it says are misleading people about a strike against video game companies.

The guild says public relations firm Singer Associates registered the domain name and the Twitter handle @SAGAFTRAVGames without SAG-AFTRA’s consent or approval. The firm represents 11 video game companies.

The union said in a letter to Singer Associates that the domain name and Twitter handle mislead people into thinking they are affiliated with SAG-AFTRA, and that they are providing inaccurate information.

“Management has a responsibility to negotiate in good faith. We could be making actual progress on the crucial economic, health and safety issues that led to this strike rather than having ‘Top Gun for Hire’ crisis PR advisors setting up misleading websites in an attempt to confuse people,” said SAG-AFTRA negotiator Ray Rodriguez in a statement.

Sam Singer of Singer Associates sees it differently. “SAG-AFTRA seems to suggest that members of the public cannot read. Our website is clear that it is the videogame companies’ website,” he tells TheWrap. “Nothing on that website is deceptive. What the union doesn’t like is that, after the union abrogated a prior agreement to have a media blackout, the companies’ posted the proposals that are on the table for the entire world to see.”

SAG-AFTRA wants performers to know the titles of the projects they are being hired for and what roles they will play. The union also demanded that additional vocal safety measures be implemented, and that stunt coordinators be present for any potentially dangerous acts. The strike went into effect last week.

Scott J. Witlin, the chief negotiator for the video game companies, said last week that the video game companies urged the union to put its latest offer to its members, but that union leaders refused.