Marvel's visual effects workers vote to unionize

The company's VFX artists have previously alleged they're overworked and underpaid.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Marvel's visual effects employees have voted in favor of joining a union in their fight for better pay, overtime compensation, more benefits and better treatment. According to Vulture, a supermajority of the company's 50 on-set VFX employees have filed a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. They're hoping to join the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which also represents hair and makeup artists, wardrobe, lighting and prop personnel, among other workers. Because apparently, despite Marvel's reliance on visual effects to make its universe(s), superheroes and supervillains look real on the big screen, its VFX artists aren't represented by a union. IATSE has also been campaigning broadly to expand its membership into VFX and animation workers in recent months.

Several current and former VFX employees for the company previously spoke out about grueling schedules and breaking down under pressure while working on shows and movies for the studio. Sources told IGN that people were being given tasks that were impossible to finish within the timeframe allowed to complete them. Some VFX artists told Vulture that the hectic production schedule for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, for instance, led to rushed work and an end product that many reviewers had described as "bland."

VFX coordinator Bella Huffman said: "Turnaround times don't apply to us, protected hours don’t apply to us, and pay equity doesn’t apply to us. Visual effects must become a sustainable and safe department for everyone who's suffered far too long and for all newcomers who need to know they won’t be exploited."

Vulture says a strike by Marvel's VFX artists is not out of the question. It is a common tactic employed by workers seeking to organize, after all — plus, both the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild are currently on strike to demand better pay, streaming residuals from successful shows and regulation of AI use in Hollywood.