Monday, April 07, 2008
By Holly Wood
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has an infraunion crisis in that the actors who don't work as much are more inclined to vote to strike than actors with adequate and abundant work. So is the guild in fact facing a 'Class of Actor' conundrum in terms of strike/no strike motivations? Contract negotiations between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will begin on April 15 and the current contract expires on June 30. Working actors actually want to prevent less working or nonworking actors from voting. WOW. And we thought the writers strike was interesting.
I guess we can expect an attempt to change the rules of the 120,000 SAG by its 71 member national board. It is doubtful that Hollywood liberals will adopt any sort of undemocratic and basically antiunion measures that would undercut any rank and file members. Internal squabbling has also led to a split between SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist (AFTRA), which represents actors in soap operas, news programming and other areas. SAG members work in movies, television and commercials. SAG feared that AFTRA, which is much smaller, would cut a deal with studios that would not necessarily benefit SAG members and would undercut SAG negotiations.
SAG wants a better dealt than the deal reached by the Writers Guild of America (WGA): increased compensation from work used on the Internet and other media, as well as an increased share of DVD revenue, which the WGA yielded on easily. (The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2008)