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Hollywood strike, Part II

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 22 November 2008

In a move that likely shocks few, the Screen Actors Guild has said today (Saturday) that it will ask its members to authorise a strike after talks with the AMPTP failed (surprise, surprise) despite federal mediation attempts.

Talks ended shortly before 1 am (no time zone desgination given) and no new talks are scheduled.

Talks started to fail after studios “sought the right to create productions for new media, such as the Internet, using nonunion actors and without paying residuals, said Doug Allen, SAG national executive director and chief negotiator.”

Residuals, payment made to actors every time a production airs (such as TV reruns or a feature film running on HBO) are the life bread for most actors, making up more than half their income, according to Allen.  Despite popular thought, the majority of actors earn nominal pay, and rely on those recurring payments to see them through lean times.

Not surprisingly, the AMPTP is criticising SAG’s call-to-strike.  “‘Now, SAG is bizarrely asking its members to bail out the failed negotiating strategy with a strike vote — at a time of historic economic crisis,’ a producers’ statement said. ‘The tone-deafness of SAG is stunning.'”  They claim that it is untenable that actors should seek a better deal than writers, directors, and others accepted, especially with the worsening economy.

I might counter that the tone-deafness of the producers at LEAST matches that of SAG, seeing as they were unwilling to yield to writers and now to actors. And perhaps if the actors now secure a better deal than writers and directors were able, when it comes time for those two to once again re-negotiate, they’ll finally get what they ought to’ve last time around.  Once again, this isn’t about greed (the producers have that nailed, honestly), it’s about fairness.

And, as I once supported the writers, so shall I now support actors should they have to throw down the gauntlet.  Hopefully the AMPTP will finally come to the realisation that they cannot keep lording over the people who make the films that support them.

SAG represents more than 120,000 actors in TV, film, and other media (including commercia advertisements).

Source: Yahoo.com News

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2 Responses to “Hollywood strike, Part II”

  1. Small Fry said

    Are you insane?! Whether SAG deserves more or not, is not the point. Hollywood is just starting to recover from the Writer’s strike. Most workers in Hollywood do not make residuals and rely on wages to pay bills. Many people are barely able to hold onto their homes as it is. To think of striking now when the economy is in danger of falling into a deep recession(or depression, maybe?), is selfish and irresponsible. Labor disputes are a luxury right now we can’t afford. With millions of people in the country just trying to hold onto their jobs, do you think it’s wise to create more unemployment over things that can be fought for later? I signed a petition today on petitiononline for SAG to deal now and not strike. I encourage others to do the same. There’s a time and a place for everything. NOW IS NOT THE TIME.

  2. gnn1 said

    Then the producers should think of that before screwing the little guys. Because the actors won’t get the opportunity until the next contract negotiation which may not be for some time.

    Sorry, but if the producers would give, and they CAN afford to, this wouldn’t be an issue.

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