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Nolan North has strong words for striking voice actors

Voice actor takes the stage to support designers and programmers

nolan north wins The Game Awards
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Prolific voice actor Nolan North, known for his work as Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series as well as dozens of other games, took the stage tonight at The Game Awards seemingly to admonish the SAG-AFTRA voice acting community as a whole, which has been on strike against some of the biggest publishers and developers in the industry since October.

North was being honored for this year’s best performance for his work in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. After thanking his wife and series creator Amy Hennig, he took the opportunity to stand up for the artists and programmers at developer Naughty Dog who brought his now iconic character to life.

In the process, he seemingly threw union voice actors under the bus.

“Performance matters,” North began, echoing the #PerformanceMatters hashtag that has been central to promoting the SAG-AFTRA union worker’s grievances. “The performance of every designer, every programmer, of every hard working and talented person who works at that office [at Naughty Dog] That performance is so important. … And their performance matters more than mine. And that’s important in this day and age, with all this talk going back and forth. Because without their performance, my performance wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t even exist.”

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has spent more than two years attempting to negotiate new terms with the biggest corporations in the games industry. EA, Activision, Disney Character Voices and Take-2 Software are among those companies, some of which launched a website calling out the union for its lack of communication with actors about what the companies were willing to negotiate, and forcing a strike.

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