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I feel like I'm taking Tom Kiesche's post as SAG strike watchdog on this blog.  I'm inundated.  My proximity to SAG makes it nearly impossible for me not to have a vested interest and concern.  In case you missed out on all the action today, SAG leaders in New York came out against the strike, SAG published a very strong rebuttal of AMPTP literature (which very clearly states everything union actors have to lose, and it's scary) and a long list of celebrities came out against the strike.  I don't know about you, but a celebrity who signs a generic petition against a "yes" vote doesn't carry a lot of weight with me.  The current negotiations are about middle class actors being able to continue to make a living at their chosen profession.  I don't see anything middle class about a celebrity.  And where were they when their support could have done some good months and months ago?  My two cents?  Shame on them.  Soo...again, decide for yourself.  I present two very different opinions.  



LOS ANGELES, December 14, 2008 — Screen Actors Guild today released the following statement in response to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producer's (AMPTPs) ad scheduled for tomorrow.

“There they go again.  The  AMPTP’s ad is great fiction, with convoluted bullet points and confused messages -- and, it’s completely wrong.

Here’s the truth:

*     Under the AMPTP’s current  offer, streaming of new television product on hulu.com and other new media platforms  pays day performers about  $46 for the first year’s use.  Not  per run of the episode, but for the whole year, and that’s  only after a 17-day FREE rerun window.

    Peter  Chernin, Chairman and CEO of News Corp., told industry analysts that his  company’s ad-supported online programming site, the already $12 million  profitable HULU.com, was a  “replacement for reruns”.

*    Under the AMPTP’s current offer,  there is no union jurisdiction for original made for new media projects made  for budgets under $15,000 per minute. That’s the vast majority of all new  media. We have signed more than 800 productions to our SAG new media agreement.  If we can do it, why can’t the AMPTP?  We are certainly willing to show  them how it’s done.

*     Their  proposal for original programming running on abc.com, nbc.com, cbs.com, and  other network new media platforms is – zero. Yes, seriously,  zero.

*     Management is gutting the  contract through the demand that we remove force majeure which has been a  protection for actors since the first SAG agreement in 1937.

*     Management has also demanded broad and sweeping changes to the more than half-century old clip consent provision which guarantees actors the right to consent to the use of  their image and to be compensated for that use.

*      Minimum increases in traditional media doesn’t do  actors any good if there aren’t any minimums in new media.

How  can that be anything but 'the end of residuals?'

How can that be  anything but a situation in which it is 'impossible for actors to make a  living?'

How can that be anything but 'a massive roll  back?'

How can that be anything but 'life or death for SAG  members?'

Make no mistake about it, this is exactly what management is  offering in original programming streamed on new media:

Minimum  Rate – Zero
Residual Structure – Zero
Overtime Protections –  Zero
Forced Call Consideration – Zero
Young Performer (Minors)   Protections – Zero

Management is offering a lousy  deal with “Zero” in new media and is threatening the promotion of non-union  work in a residual-free environment without minimum  compensation.

That could be the beginning of the end for actors' careers and livelihoods.”

About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents over 120,000 actors who work in film and digital television, industrials, commercials, video games, music videos and all other new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at www.sag.org.


Dear SAG Board Members, officers and staff:We feel very strongly that SAG members should not vote to authorize a strike at this time. We don’t think that an authorization can be looked at as merely a bargaining tool. It must be looked at as what it is — an agreement to strike if negotiations fail.

We support our union and we support the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work.

None of our friends in the other unions are truly happy with the deals they made in their negotiations. Three years from now all the union contracts will be up again at roughly the same time. At that point if we plan and work together with our sister unions we will have incredible leverage.

As hard as it may be to wait those three years under an imperfect agreement, we believe this is what we must do. We think that a public statement should be made by SAG recognizing that although this is not a deal we want, it is simply not a time when our union wants to have any part in creating more economic hardship while so many people are already suffering.

Let’s take the high road. Let’s unite with our brothers and sisters in the entertainment community and prepare for the future, three years down the line. Then, together, let’s make a great deal.

Alan Alda
Jason Alexander
Dave Annable
René Auberjonois
Diane Baker
Bob Balaban
Alec Baldwin
William Baldwin.
Barbara Beck
Ed Begley, Jr
Maria Bello
Barbara Bosson
Bruce Boxleitner
Josh Brolin
Pierce Brosnan
David Boreanaz
Blair Brown
Lizzy Caplan
Jennifer Carpenter
Steve Carrell
Mark Cassen
Erika Christensen
George Clooney
Glenn Close
Scott Cohen
Jack Coleman
Stephen Collins
Peter Coyote
James Cromwell
Billy Crystal
Matt Damon
Ted Danson
James Darren
Bruce Davison
James Denton
Brian Dennehy
Danny DeVito
Cameron Diaz
Garret Dillahunt
Larry Dorf
Minnie Driver
Olympia Dukakis
Patty Duke
Charles S. Dutton.
Shelley Fabares
Bill Fagerbakke
Mike Farrell
Sally Field
Kate Flannery
Morgan Freeman
Jennifer Garner
Teri Garr
Melissa Gilbert
Sara Gilbert
John Goodman
Christopher Gorham
Heather Graham
Kelsey Grammer
Jennifer Grey
Michael Gross
Christopher Guest
Annabelle Gurwitch
Michael C. Hall
Tom Hanks
Tess Harper
Mariette Hartley
Ed Helms
Marilu Henner
Cheryl Hines
Felicity Huffman
Helen Hunt
Jeremy Irons
Kathryn Joosten
Carol Kane
Diane Keaton
Jamie Kennedy
Mimi Kennedy
TR Knight
Sarah Knowlton
John Krasinski
Diane Lane
Michele Lee
Lucy Liu
Rob Lowe
Tobey Maguire
Janel Maloney
Camryn Manheim
Marlee Matlin
Melanie Mayron
Andrew McCarthy
Mary McCormack
Chris McDonald
Neal McDonough
Rob McElhenney
Ewan McGregor
Eva Mendes
Debra Messing
Helen Mirren
James Naughton
Edward Norton
Michael Nouri
Gail O’Grady
Kaitlin Olson
Sam Page
Eva Longoria Parker
Adrian Pasdar
Steve Pasquale
Rhea Perlman
Jaimie Pressley
Jason Ritter
John Saxon
William Schallert
Adam Scott
Tony Shalhoub
Armin Shimerman
Christian Slater
Kevin Spacey
Jerry Sroka
Mary Steenburgen
Marcia Strassman
Brenda Strong
Donald Sutherland
Kitty Swink
David Tadman
Jeffrey Tambor
Charlize Theron
Ally Walker
Tracey Walter
Belinda Waymouth
Bradley Whitford.
Lee Wilkoff
Brian Wimmer
Kevin Zegers
Louis Zoric

Article printed from The SAGWatch Blog - Observing the Screen Actors Guild and its Management: http://blog.sagwatch.net


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