The never-ending battle between SAG president Alan Rosenberg and his own organization has forced him to file an injunction against his own task force from starting their negotiations.
That means, in a weird, sordid, round-about way, Rosenberg is now fighting an uphill battle with himself. It's a wonder the actors didn't elect Britney Spears to run their union.
I was looking at my last two Festivus wish lists in an attempt to determine if any of my requests came true. Turns out, many of them did come to fruition -- something that I'm damn proud of. Sadly, a new sitcom for Dustin "Screech" Diamond did not materialize. Oh well, maybe that will occur sometime next season when, after coming out of a trance, the NBC executives realize they made a terrible mistake putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 pm and need something to fill the empty space.
Now, without further ado, let me put down the aluminum rod for a bit and talk about my Festivus wish list for the upcoming year.
Currently, SAG is working under a contract that expired on June 30. The WGA strike began on November 5, 2007 and was finally settled on February 12, 2008. Rosenberg and SAG knew how damaging the strike had been, and in the months before June 30, they tried for a settlement. They didn't get it done then, and they've been treading water ever since.
And now, another installment of 'David vs. Goliath'. In this case, David is The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), while the role of Goliath is portrayed by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). For months, both unions have been negotiating with the studios for higher salaries for their lower-paid actors as well as more profits from DVD and new media sales. AFTRA, the smaller of the two actor unions, has been fairly quiet concerning these negotiations. SAG, on the other hand, has been quite boisterous concerning the poor negotiating tactics of the studios.
With the amount of muscle SAG has one would think they would have been able to get the better deal of the two unions. Yet, as in David's battle against Goliath, it looks like the little person got the better of the bigger one. On Tuesday, the 70,000 members of AFTRA ratified a new prime-time TV contract. According to AFTRA President Roberta Reardon, the new contract "contains substantial gains for every category of performer in both traditional and new media." This, despite a campaign by SAG members to persuade those who are members of both unions to vote "no" on the contract.
There's good news and bad news coming from the on-going talks between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The bad news is that there has been very little progress in talks between SAG and the studios concerning a new contract.
With their current contract expiring on June 30th, SAG members are looking for higher pay for "middle-tier" actors, those making less than $100,000 a year, and a greater cut of profits from DVD and new media sales -- a main sticking point during this past winter's Writers Guild strike. In addition to those woes, there are bitter splits taking place between SAG members and those of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) after the smaller union ratified an agreement with the studios.The good news, at least for film and television viewers, is that SAG has no immediate plans to strike.
Tonight is the last of Gary Dourdan as Warrick. He's having trouble off-camera, a serious felony arrest earlier this month for drugs, so his leaving may have been a necessity even if he hadn't chosen to exit. Therefore, it's a good thing to be able to tell you that USA Today reports that Marg Helgenberger has inked a new contract with CSI for two more years. That, coupled with William Petersen's signing a new deal in April, means that CSI is in good shape for the foreseeable future. CBS should be doing the happy-dance.
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.
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