Bryan Cranston calls out Bob Iger at striking actors' rally


(Reuters) - Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston rallied a crowd of striking Hollywood actors on Tuesday with comments directed at Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) Chief Executive Bob Iger.

Iger angered members of the SAG-AFTRA actors union this month by saying their demands for a labor contract with higher pay and limits on the use of artificial intelligence were "unreasonable."

At a rally in Times Square in New York near Disney's ABC News studio, Cranston said the actors had "a message for Mr. Iger."

"I know, sir, that you look through things through a different lens," Cranston said. "We don't expect you to understand who we are, but we ask you to hear us. And beyond that, to listen to us when we tell you, we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots," he added.

Actors are concerned that Hollywood studios could use their digital images without permission or deploy synthetic actors created with AI to star in movies and TV shows.

SAG-AFTRA members went on strike on July 14, joining film and television writers in the first dual work stoppage in Hollywood in 63 years.

The actors' union has asked for a requirement that studios obtain consent to use a star's digital image, among other protections.

Actors also are seeking higher pay, saying the rise of streaming television has limited their earnings.

"We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living," Cranston said in his remarks directed at Iger. "And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity."

A spokesperson for Iger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which negotiates on behalf of Disney, Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), and other companies, has said it offered substantial increases in pay and benefits and has sent a proposal to address AI concerns.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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