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Saban, SAG Struggle Over Digimon Dub Dispute

The Screen Actors Guild and Saban have been struggling over the issue of dubbing rules for DIGIMON:THE MOVIE. Under SAG's dubbing agreement, Saban's Bugboy Productions hired Guild actors to dub the Japanese animated film into English. The dubbing agreement does not require American actors to be paid residuals for just dubbing foreign language films. However in a letter from SAG attorney Vicki Shapiro to Bugboy Prods., SAG feels that the film was more than just dubbed. " The dialogue that the performers are recording for the film does not merely substitute for the original Japanese dialogue; rather, the original dialogue is significantly altered by revisions, reformatting, additions, deletions and modifications such that the employment no longer constitutes 'dubbing' as defined by the dubbing agreement." SAG believes that due to the extent of the changes, the actors' work no longer falls under the dubbing agreement and requires that the performers be paid residuals when the film is broadcast on free TV, pay TV, cable or home video. Conversely, Saban officials said to the Hollywood Reporter, "What we're doing under the dubbing agreement is perfectly appropriate. We're in discussions with SAG and hope to reach an amicable resolution shortly."

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Rick DeMott
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