Justine Bateman Criticizes SAG-AFTRA Deal Over AI: Actors Should Only Ratify If ‘They Don’t Want to Work Anymore’

The news that SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP reached a tentative deal to resolve the actors strike that brought Hollywood to a halt was met with celebrations from most actors in the industry. But Justine Bateman isn’t ready to rejoice just yet.

The “Family Ties” star and filmmaker, who has spent much of the past year speaking out against the use of AI in creative industries, took to X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday to express her objections to the agreement. While guild leaders have touted the “robust” AI protections in the deal, including rules that require studios to notify and compensate actors whenever their digitally scanned likeness is used in a film or TV show, Bateman says the actual deal doesn’t go far enough.

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“I will be taking the actual deal document (and not the ‘summary’ SAG is planning to release) and explaining the violating AI permissions the AMPTP will have over you,” Bateman wrote in a thread. “I’m very disappointed that the SAG leadership and committee did not take my guidance on the AI issues.”

She continued, “I’ve said from the beginning that the use of generative AI will collapse the structure of this business. I want the actors and crew to have enough self-respect to turn over a table and flip the CEOs off as it happens. They’re going to leave you with nothing left to lose.”

Bateman continued to criticize the deal throughout the weekend. In an interview with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi on Saturday, she said that union members should only ratify the deal “if they don’t want to work anymore.”

“The train track is split. One train track is going, ‘OK, we’re going to participate in this sort of negotiation with the cannibals and we’re going to talk about just how you’re going to be cutting my foot off, and are you going to grill it or boil it, and what kind of sauce are you going to put on it?'” she said. “I’m on a different track, which, I’m going to be making human things for human audiences with human crews and casts and so forth. And we’ll see what happens.”

SAG-AFTRA members are set to begin voting on ratification of the deal on Tuesday, November 14.

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