NEWS - Strike Prevents Ashly Burch's Life is Strange Return
Reported by NCZ on Wed Jun 14 2017

Ashly Burch, one of the stars of 2015's Life is Strange, will not be reprising her role as Chloe Price in the game's upcoming prequel, due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

Burch announced the news on Twitter two days ago, following the game's official announcement at Microsoft's E3 conference.

"Hey y'all, to the fans asking - I wasn't able to reprise my role as Chloe in Life is Strange: Before the Storm due to the SAG-AFTRA strike."

Burch chose to turn down the role of her own volition, in order to support the strike, but the decision was not easy. She said the following to Kotaku:

"When the strike happened, you know there will be sacrifices you have to make. This particular one is genuinely pretty difficult for me. It wasn’t one that I was anticipating. This is my sacrifice, and it’s a big one." She also clarified that Chloe is a character who is very dear to her, and as such is dismayed by the decision. To her, Chloe "in her core, desperately wants to feel safe, loved and lovable". She continued, "I broke off a little piece of my soul when I did the first Life Is Strange and put it in Chloe. Playing Chloe turned out to be a tremendously personal experience for me, an almost cathartic experience."

Although unconfirmed at the moment, it is believed that the decision to use Blindlight, the company that recorded and cast the first Life is Strange game, may be the source of the issue. Blindlight are one of the companies being struck against by SAG-AFTRA. If they are the studio being used again for Before the Storm, this would explain Burch's inability to participate.

The strike began in October 2016, in order to secure contracts industry-wide that would lead to better residuals and treatment for performers in video games and other interactive media. Though many companies have agreed to SAG-AFTRA's requests, other major publishers such as Activision, Disney, Electronic Arts, Take Two, and Warner Brothers still hold out, along with voice production companies such as the aforementioned Blindlight, Formosa, and Voiceworks. Square Enix, the game's publisher, is not among the struck companies. Games affected are those that began production after February 17, 2015.

Burch will still perform writing duties on the game, but the role of Chloe will now be voiced by non-union actress Rhianna DeVries.

CORRECTION (15/6/17): Removed a quote from Alyson Court misattributed to Burch.



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said at 1:58 AM on Thu Jun 15 2017
I want to correct that those last words are not from Burch. The article states they're from Alyson Court, who also won't be reprising her role of Claire Redfield for the RE2 remake, though in her case it wasn't her choice. She, at least, seems to believe she was passed over for a non-union actress because her company is participating in the strike as solidarity.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 5:39 AM on Thu Jun 15 2017

I think it's more because Capcom are cheap. Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2 were non-union. 7 seems to have been too.
said at 9:18 PM on Wed Jun 14 2017
 1 Shout Out!
I know it can be tough to be replaced because you were committed to cause, but I must wonder if this won't strain relations between the non-union actors and union as well.
said at 7:53 AM on Thu Jun 15 2017
@Luigikun I don't think so. Besides according to this article, Ashly made the sacrifice herself due to the strike reason. And you can't blame non-union actors. True any actor could've turned down the part if they were supporting the strike (even if they are non-union), but the competition in LA is scary beyond comparison, so you have to grab the opportunity by its b... Noted the big VO stars do hurt their vocal cords if the role is heavy on them and they do deserve some compensation, but their work opportunities are going to decline considering that they'll only work for the few companies who agreed to their demands. So they are gambling, but the question is, who will fall first? The only thing the union actors can hope for now is that the non-union actors does suck to prove a point. Will be interesting to see how this finishes.
said at 8:02 AM on Thu Jun 15 2017
@itsmedeadpool I see.

But still, most known non-union actors from anime and Japanese games stand with them, so I think it would be mostly comforting for them and maybe sooner or later, the targeted companies will re-consider their stances.
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