Netflix is facing criticism for listing an artificial intelligence (AI) product manager job with a salary of more than $900,000 (£698,900) amid the ongoing actors and writers strike.
Hollywood has been effectively shut down since July 14, when the Screen Actors Guild of America – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined its screenwriters’ union, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), to fight for higher base pay, higher streaming backlogs and assurances that their work will not be replaced by AI.
The latter point has been a major concern with several high profile players including successor Star Brian Cox, who lashed out at the “scary” technology, during a solidarity rally in London last week.
“Wages are one thing, but the worst thing is the whole idea of AI and what AI can do to us,” the 77-year-old Scottish actor said in an impassioned tirade.
But even as fears mount that AI is taking over not just jobs but also acting likenesses, Netflix appears to continue investing heavily in the technology.
There is currently a position for a product manager – platform for machine learning – in the streaming group’s job board. It notes that the total salary range for this position is “typically between $300,000 and $900,000.”
The listing states that the person in the position will “gather feedback and understand user needs from ML/AI practitioners and application engineers at Netflix, derive product requirements and assess their importance, then prioritize investment areas.”
Author, actor and comedian Rob Delaney (Catastrophe)who stood next to Cox at the rally, responded to the job posting, calling it “creepy.”
“$900,000 a year per soldier in their godless AI army, when that earnings could qualify 35 actors and their families for SAG-AFTRA medical insurance, is just creepy,” said the 46-year-old comedian The Interception.
“Having been rich as well as poor in this business, I can assure you that there is enough money for everyone; it’s all about priorities.”
Netflix declined to answer The IndependentPlease comment.
Other television and film actors, such as matilda child star Mara Wilson, romcom star John Cusack and this is us‘s Mandy Moore have shared their “appalling” salary stories to highlight the importance of the historic strike.
Hours before the July 13 strike was ordered, Disney boss Bob Iger slammed the decision, saying it was “very disturbing to me.”
“This is the worst time on earth to be adding to this disruption,” he said, adding, “They have a level of expectations that just isn’t realistic.”
breaking BadBryan Cranston from ‘s is the last to reply to Iger’s message.
The 67-year-old actor said on Tuesday (July 25) front line at the Rock the City for a Fair Contract rally in New York: “I know sir you look like that [at] things through a different lens. We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask that you listen to us, and beyond that, when we tell you that our jobs will not be taken away from us and given to robots.”
“We will not allow you to take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And last but not least, and most importantly, we will not let you take away our dignity! We are united through and through, to the end!”