I april tidigare i år hävdade Gearbox Softwares VD Randy Pitchford att röstskådespelare Troy Baker hade valt att inte återvända till sin roll som Rhys i Borderlands 3. Baker själv hävdar att han inte kunde, eftersom Gearbox inte vill samarbeta med facket. 

Nyligen fick VG247 chansen att prata med Troy Baker på ett fan event, och där berättade han att han gärna hade velat spela Rhys igen, men Gearboxs inställning till Screen Actors Guild ‐ American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), fackföreningen  som representerar röstskådespelare i USA, hindrade honom från att återvända.
Eftersom medlemmar i SAG-AFTRA i solidaritet med varandra inte kan acceptera att jobba på projekt som inte har gjort upp en deal med facket, så därav fick Troy Baker lämna rollen.

Baker berättade för VG247 att han blev tillfrågad om han ville spela Rhys i Borderlands 3;

Which I said, ’Absolutely.’ And then they made it impossible for me to do the role. It had nothing to do with money, it had nothing to do with money. They just simply would not go about doing it the way that we needed it to be done. So then it was like, I never said no.

När han blev tillfrågad att utveckla vad han menade, svarade han;

No, it was simply a matter of they wouldn’t go union. And I can’t do a non-union gig. And without getting too deep into the weeds of that, we had long conversations about this. We always knew going into it, that this was going to be the thing. They were going to take these characters, and put them from the Tales from the Borderlands series from Telltale, into Borderlands proper. I’ve been waiting for this call. They were like, ’Do you want to do this?’ And I said, ’Yes.’ They never, because they would never move from that position. I’m not mad. It’s invariably a completely different character, but it still stings.

Nu i dagarna har både Gearbox och SAG-AFTRA besvarat händelserna i pressmeddelanden och pressutskick till diverse amerikanska spelnyhetssajter.

Gearbox hävdar att enligt lagarna i Texas, där Gearbox är stationerat, kan personer inte bli nekade arbete på grund av medlemskap eller icke medlemskap i en fackförening.
En representant för Gearbox gav ett uttalande till Polygon kring detta;

Troy is an exceptional talent and we were disappointed that he declined to partner on Borderlands 3 after being offered the part. We wish him the best and hope he knows the offer to collaborate with him still stands. Gearbox is a Texas company and is bound by Texas law — which means that a person cannot be denied employment because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or other labor organization. As a talent-owned and talent-led organization, Gearbox enthusiastically works to ensure our pay and working conditions meet or exceed union standards. We also believe strongly in hiring local voice actors whenever we can which is why we’re thrilled Troy’s career really took off after working with us.

SAG-AFTRA i sin tur hävdar i ett eget uttalande, som Kotaku tagit del av, att de försökte komma överens och nå en deal med Gearbox för röstskådespelare som skulle jobba på Borderlands 3, men misslyckades.

Gearbox’s reference to Texas law is a non-sequitur. SAG-AFTRA’s contract does not require Gearbox to deny anyone employment based on their union status. In fact, SAG-AFTRA’s contract does not require employers in any state to deny anyone employment based on union status.

We are fully aware of the anti-labor, right-to-work-for-less laws that help explain why Texas has more minimum-wage workers than any state in the Union. Employers in Texas and other right-to-work-for-less states nevertheless routinely work under SAG-AFTRA agreements with no legal obstacle at all. To the extent that Gearbox’s statement reflects legitimate ignorance, Gearbox could easily have asked that question during their discussions with SAG-AFTRA, which they did not. 

If indeed Gearbox meets or exceeds our contract standards in their treatment of performers, which we highly doubt, it would have cost them nothing to sign the union’s agreement and retain the original cast of their game. While SAG-AFTRA does not comment on member discipline matters, we observe that SAG-AFTRA members who work for certain non-union employers not only deprive themselves of the benefits of a union agreement, they lower the standards for all their peers and facilitate the abuse and exploitation of performers.


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