The Screen Actors Guild begins contract negotiations with the studios
Here we go again. We have barely healed from the wounds that the Writers Guild of America strike opened up late last year, now it's the Screen Actors Guild's turn to make us nervous about the television we watch.
Yesterday, SAG representatives began negotiations with the Hollywood studios by swapping contract proposals between the two parties. This is the first time in nearly three decades that the Guild is negotiating solo with the studios since the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has rejected combined talks. AFTRA is upset with the Guild over concerns that it is attempting to poach its members. The Guild is denying this accusation with the statement that it normally broils its members over a low flame with some butter sauce.
As the Writers Guild did during its strike, SAG is asking for additional compensation for new media as well as a larger cut of DVD sales. They are also looking to gain pay for product endorsements placed within scripts as well as a review of the studios' policies of compressing work into fewer days in order to pay the actors less. I'm with them all the way, except for the product endorsements. If they get additional pay for these I could see some actors asking for more endorsements per script in order to make more money. Then, we could be looking at 30 or 60-minute television commercials.