Scrubs Star Donald Faison Calls Out Digital Likeness Use After Death, “I Don’t Wanna Die and Still Be in Movies”

In the ongoing actors’ strike, one of the main sticking points on the side of SAG-AFTRA is the studio’s continued insistence on using artificial intelligence and the perpetual usage of actors’ likeness. While picketing Wednesday, Scrubs actor Donald Faison revealed his thoughts on the matter, saying he hoped if studios used his likeness after his death, they’d be contractually obligated to pay royalties and residuals to his family.

“I’m trying not to get emotional about it and get upset about it and everything like that, but I don’t want to die and then all of a sudden still be in movies and my family not seeing the money from that or I don’t want people saying things for me that I probably wouldn’t want to say or wouldn’t say,” Faison told the Associated Press. “If you are going to put me in a movie, I want to have stipulations and I want my family to see money from that.”

Shortly after SAG-AFTRA opted to strike, it was revealed the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers wanted the rights to use actor’s likenesses in perpetuity with the use of digital scans.

According to SAG-AFTRA officials, negotiators with the AMPTP were hoping to pay actors just a day’s salary to use their likeness in perpetuity, being able to digitally recreate their face at a later date without payment or consent.

“This ‘groundbreaking’ AI proposal that they gave us yesterday: they propose that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day’s pay, and their company should own that scan their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation,” SAG-AFTRA’s Duncan Crabtree-Ireland revealed last month. “So if you think that’s a groundbreaking proposal, I suggest you think again.”

As if this writing, SAG-AFTRA members have been on strike since July 14th, or a total of 18 days. While the Writers Guild of America is expected to host its first meeting with AMPTP officials later this week, there’s been no word on when the actors’ guild and producers group will meet to negotiate a new deal.