Sunday, February 22, 2009

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is headed for a strike

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has rejected the "final" offer by Hollywood producers and may be headed for a strike. SAG is another union that just doesn't get it. We are in a recession and all industries are starting to be affected. Hollywood is not immune to this. Fewer movies may be made this year. Paramount, Viacom and NBC Universal have announced cuts. SAG is holding out for a two year contract. Most unions have a three year contract and other guilds and unions in Hollywood have have accepted this offer. The Screen Actors Guild is holding out for a shorter term and more royalty money. SAG is one of the greediest unions in America and one of the reasons why movies often cost over $100 million to make. Does anyone really think actors in Hollywood are underpaid? SAG even overcharges their membership. They charge their members an initiation fee of $2,277 to join. Then, they get 1.85% of all individual earnings under SAG contracts between $1 and $200,000. The scale slides down for higher amounts. SAG needs to face the reality of current economic conditions, but that is unlikely. People who live and work in Hollywood are out of touch with the rest of America. Hollywood was key to Obama winning the presidency. Perhaps he will give his Hollywood supporters a bailout.
SAG rejects 'final offer' from producers
Feb 22 03:50 AM US/Easter

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Screen Actors Guild board of directors on Saturday rejected the "last, best and final offer" by Hollywood producers for a new contract.

The contract was rejected by 73 percent of SAG's board members, spokeswoman Pamela Greenwalt said in a statement.

SAG called the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' demand for the contract to run for three years instead of two, "regressive and damaging."

Producers insist the three-year contract would start when it is ratified, instead of when the last one expired, which would mean SAG would not be able to join with the writers' and directors' guilds to increase their bargaining power when their contracts expire in 2011.

A statement released by the producers alliance said its offer was strong and fair and it had always sought a three-year deal, just as it had negotiated with other guilds and unions.

"We simply cannot offer SAG a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry," the statement said. (excerpt) read more at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is great news! So nice of them to put the nails in their own coffins.

Another case of a union biting the hand that feeds it at an inappropriate time. I know the public likes their entertainment, and it is one of our exports, but it is an industry full of dinosaurs, and it is making us stupid. If we manage to lose both the union and the TV stations out of this, it will be two birds with one stone. The writers will find their own fortunes writing for the new entertainment that grows online to fill the vacuum.

The last strike fueled the rise of people like you and me as the public turned to the internet. This is not the death of entertainment, it is the rise of people following their interests and educating themselves, rather than watching sitcoms and soap operas.