« Monday Theatre News Roundup | Main | Emmys Reward Older Leading Ladies »

37 SAG Staffers Who Could Buy and Sell Me

Strikewatch_blog_2Corrections appended - Aug. 12

Ah, dear Strike Watch readers. I come to you a bit more humbled than usual today. I’m just kicking myself because it turns out I totally missed one of the best days of the year! I must have been so wrapped up in planning for my luxurious, two-week staycation that I forgot about one of my—and other guild watchers--fave holidays. For this I am truly sorry, and thankful that Arlin Miller at SAG Watchdog remembered to celebrate the occassion—albeit 11 days late.

Of course, I’m taking about LM2 Day, the day SAG files its mandatory fiscal report with the Department of Labor. So much fun can be had parsing through pages and pages listing SAG’s assets and liabilities. It’s like learning the answers to everything you ever wanted to know about SAG’s finances but had too much of a life to ask.

Let’s skip the foreplay and go directly to the creamy center of the LM2: the salaries! Oh yes, imagine if the federal government decreed that the corporation for which you work had to disclose everyone’s salaries publicly. Wouldn’t you rush to compare what you, your boss, the CEO, Dave in marketing, and that new girl who answers the phones take home before taxes? And wouldn’t you want to jump out a window afterward?

For example, it turns out I finally make almost as much as the guild’s admin assistants! Sadly, I’m still a few thousand shy of matching the switchboard operator’s salary. Let’s hear it for my life choices!

But enough about my ever-useful degree in comparative literature (with a minor in French, thank you very much). The prize for Highest Paid SAG Employee goes to Doug Allen, who took home $456,416 in salary plus $56,486 in “disbursements for official business.” That’s a total of $520,902 of members’ money from May 1, 2007, to April 30, 2008. Over half a mil for one year of representing SAG actors—the vast majority of whom do not make the annual $13,790 minimum required to get basic guild health insurance. 

 Depending on whom you believe, $500,000 is either twice or five times the amount Allen and his compadres spent on the failed “Vote No” campaign against AFTRA’s prime-time contract.

I’m not going to judge whether Doug Allen's services are worth that much, especially since he has yet to achieve what he was hired to do: bargain a new TV/Theatrical Contract. I say he’s worth every penny for coming up with the soon-to-be-ubiquitous phrase “comprehensive counterproposal.” 



This last spin around the sun, SAG had more six-figure-earners walking its hallowed halls: 38 out of 457 employees made more than $100,000, compared with 31 out of 382 employees in the previous year. (At least someone’s hiring!)

Some notable members of the SAG sixers club [salary + “disbursements for official business] include John McGuire, senior adviser, ($322,206); Pamm Fair, deputy national executive director for policy and strategic planning ($234,139); Pam Greenwalt, communications executive director and occasional spokeswoman ($201,649); Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, general counsel, ($253,600); Peter Frank, CFO ($286,378); Tom LaGrua, contracts executive director ($189,711); and Todd Amorde, national director of organizing ($140,351).

 Come play the home game I call “Do You Make as Much as a SAG Staff Member?” Just click here, and enter “SAG” in the “union abbreviation” field. Don’t be shy--share your findings in the comments section!

 --Lauren Horwitch, who is rich in love


Dig This


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 37 SAG Staffers Who Could Buy and Sell Me:


To be fair you could have also pointed out that 34 out of 231 AFTRA employees did the same to make up over 1/3rd of the payroll. Those 34 made $5,401,854 in total and that is without expenses. And AFTRA ended over $2m in the red. This was the top money maker; Kim Roberts NATIONAL EXEC DIR $333,558

I really enjoy your writing style. Very funny. Nice work!

So, let's see...Doug Allen takes 1% of our dues money. For what???

Zero percent of a contract!

The comments to this entry are closed.