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April 18, 2014

Brace yourselves for a possible actors strike

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 5th 2008 11:05AM
Alan RosenbergHave you seen all those feel-good commercials on CBS showing the actors returning to work after the WGA strike, the message promising us that good times -- and fresh new episodes -- would soon be on the air? Well, here comes the cold shower. The big story this morning out of L.A. is that Hollywood is shaking with fear that the actors will strike this summer if a new contract isn't hammered out before June 30.

Big names like George Clooney and Tom Hanks have been quietly urging Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg to commence negotiations now in hopes of averting another contentious battle. Even AFTRA (SAG's sister organization, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) reportedly wants to start formal talks.

Rosenberg, who won the presidency of his union by promising to be a tough negotiator, says the guild will not be prepared to open official talks until April. However, in a February 28 memo, Rosenberg did say some behind the scenes chats are taking place. We can only hope that they're doing more than just chatting and that something substantive is happening so that when the formal talks do begin, an agreement can be reached before the June deadline is reached.

Complicating matters is a petition signed by 1,000 guild members that was sent to Rosenberg which would put conditions on who gets to vote for a settlement deal; that is, only actors who've logged in enough working days over the past six years.

From a viewer's standpoint, another strike in Hollywood would be a disaster. It doesn't matter to us that the 120,000 guild members are ticked off about forced commercial product placement in their television and film work -- and their not being paid for those endorsements.

We want the SAG to get to the table and get the issues ironed out. Another protracted work stoppage that's a fight for pennies, winds up costing millions, and it's anathema to entertainment. Remember the old adage, actors, the show must go on. Before you organize a picket line, keep that in mind. Sure, negotiate hard for your fair share; just don't push it to a strike, please.

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Corey

Big whoopty-doo, big name actors walking the picket line for more money. If they want to REALLY make us care, show us the fellows/ladies like Scott above who are REALLY hurting.

We don't care that you guys think you are under-paid and making millions a year. The "other" people are losing their jobs.

December 10 2008 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

The idea of a "working actor" is just an illusion. SAG is a "Union" where only 8% of it's members make above a living wage - and alomst all of them WAY above a working wage. The other 92% are doomed to work as waiters, temp jobs, etc...I know, I did it for 10 years, and have the W2's to show for it.

The entertainment unions only protect their small base of well paid members - and it's simply because they need those well paid entertainers dues. The rest they don't give a rat's ass about. It's not about the "woking man" - it's about bleeding the hand that feeds them.

March 05 2008 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FrankD

Although no one wins a strike you can lose a contract. Why should actors and writers not get paid so Sony,NBC/Universal and Disney make billions. The more unions amewrica has the stronger the economy is.

March 05 2008 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to FrankD's comment
Franklin

"The more unions amewrica has the stronger the economy is."

Spoken like a true union hack. Like most things, unions have their place, but that statement is ridiculous.

March 05 2008 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brian.stuart

I certainly hope the actors can reach an agreement. With any luck, the studios won't see the need to dig in their heels this time and insist on an absurd offer that reduces compensation for months until finally working on a compromise. But the actors are well within their rights to strike, too. Again, most working actors aren't rich. I'd guess the "have-nots" are even more plentiful in SAG than in WGA. Like the writers, their contribution to film and TV is integral and they deserve fair compensation in an industry that is making a few corporations a nice tidy sum.

March 05 2008 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff N.

Another strike would be a big disaster for everyone involved.

March 05 2008 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alice

I feel badly for the crew members and their families who suffer each time the "above the line" folks get greedy.

March 05 2008 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alice's comment
Andy

I feel sorry for you, who sees the WGA strike and potential SAG strike as writers and actors "getting greedy."

March 05 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Franklin

Long before the WGA strike, the internet was luring away viewers and potential viewers. I bet the WGA strike furthered that move and should the actors strike even more viewers will be lost permanently. On top of that, the entertainment industry can no longer count on the loyalty of the viewer since they've shown no loyalty to us.

Keep on hammering that coffin, baby!

March 05 2008 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kyle

as this will not affect lost, i'm finding it hard to care.

March 05 2008 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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