Union SAG-AFTRA: "Gearbox’s reference to Texas law is a non-sequitur"

Union SAG-AFTRA: "Gearbox’s reference to Texas law is a non-sequitur"

US actors union SAG-AFTRA has described Gearbox Software's reasoning for not working with union repped talent Troy Baker "a non-sequitur".

In a statement, the body said that the developer falling back on Texan law which prohibits companies from denying someone employment based on them being in a union.

This follows voice actor Troy Baker saying he didn't work on Borderlands 3 due to Gearbox not having an agreement in place with SAG-AFTRA. The union has claimed that it was in talks with the Austin-based studio but these fell through. Such an agreement would hold Gearbox to certain standards in how it treats and compensates talent. 

"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," the body said.

"We are fully aware of the anti-labour, 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."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.