Hollywood and Journalism Unions Urge Congress to Pass Stronger AI Legislation to Preserve ‘Truth and Integrity’

Journalists are rising against AI. Several prominent writers’ unions representing journalists, film and TV writers have banded together to present an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer asking Congress to protect them against artificial intelligence through legislation.

The NewsGuild-CWA, Writers Guild of America East and West and National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians are all signatories on the letter.

“We strongly urge the Senate to pass meaningful legislation that protects writers and other creative professionals working in film, television, news, podcasts and online media from the existential threat of AI,” Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, president of the Writers Guild of America East, said in a statement. “AI is a rapidly advancing technology posing numerous real-world consequences. There must be strong legal guardrails put in place to ensure that this tool is not abused by companies to the detriment of a writer’s work.”

“Journalists are essential to a free and fair democracy,” NewsGuild-CWA president Jon Schleuss said. “Too many media companies are attempting to replace journalists with AI, resulting in false, misleading clickbait and the decimation of our news ecosystems. It is essential that journalists are not replaced by misguided media companies looking to maximize profits at the expense of human-driven journalism that informs the public and holds our institutions accountable.”

The letter is asking that Congress ensures AI won’t replace journalists or other creative professionals and stops AI from replicating their work without consent or fair compensation, whether copyright is owned or not. They want safeguards against the use of AI as a surveillance tool, as well as protections for performers’ voices, likenesses and written talent and a codification of workers’ rights to bargain collectively on AI policies in the workplace.

“As AI technologies rapidly evolve, it’s critical that we keep the human touch in broadcasting,” NABET-CWA president Charlie Braco said. “We must push for regulations that ensure AI enhances, rather than replaces, the essential contributions of our storytellers, broadcasters and journalists. Our goal is to foster a future where technology amplifies our craft, while preserving the authenticity and accountability that are fundamental to our democracy. By upholding genuine, human-driven storytelling, we strengthen the public’s trust in the media, ensuring the stories they rely on are rooted in truth and integrity.”

The issue with AI was at the center of both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that hit Hollywood last year. In January, it was announced that Replica Studios, an artificial intelligence voice technology company, and SAG-AFTRA had come to an agreement on using AI.

The new agreement “paves the way for professional voice over artists to safely explore new employment opportunities for their digital voice replicas with industry-leading protections tailored to AI technology, allowing AAA video game studios and other companies working with Replica to access top SAG-AFTRA talent,” according to the official release.

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