Equity’s new campaign to strengthen performers’ rights in response to the rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been gathering momentum after a very successful launch in April.
Our ground-breaking report generated a lot of press coverage. For example, it was reported by BBC News, explored on BBC Radio Ulster (from 1:23:56) and covered widely by arts and technology media including The Stage and Variety. The General Secretary Paul Fleming also took part in a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row alongside Dr Mathilde Pavis, senior law lecturer at Exeter University.
More recently, the Screen & New Media Committee solidified this campaign as a key priority for the union after passing a motion at this year’s Annual Representative Conference. With this under the radar issue gaining more and more attention, the focus now is for us all to convince politicians about the urgent need to act.
Recent wins in Parliament
In recent weeks Equity has achieved important work getting our campaign onto the political agenda. Through our political networks we worked with Lord Clement-Jones and Conservative MP Giles Watling to table parliamentary questions on our behalf, pressing the government about our outdated intellectual property framework and the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. Another achievement was working with Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones to table amendment NC26 to the Online Safety Bill, which is making its way through Parliament, to try and address the harmful effects of “deepfake” technology. We will continue to work with political decision makers from all political parties to raise the profile of this campaign.
Lobbying your local MP
However, only together with Equity members can we implement real, constructive change. We now need Equity members from every region and nation of the UK to lobby their local MP to ask them to sign a Parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) in support of our campaign. EDMs are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons and are a great tool for attracting public interest and further media coverage, and recording the views of individual MPs.
Email your MP using our template. It is important that you amend or change any of the details to reflect your own personal experience or to explain how important their support is to you and your working life. This will help maximise the impact of your correspondence. A huge thank you to everyone who has done that already. Let’s make sure AI works for performers and not just their bosses.
Find out more about our campaigning work on AI here.