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Guild Wars

AFTRA Supports Performance Rights Act That Will Be Introduced This Week

aftra.gifAfter years of trying to get Congress to hear the case for terrestrial radio paying royalties to artists and labels for songs they broadcast, it looks like it will happen this week.

Much to the chagrin of National Association of Broadcasters who according to Billboard, ‘has long opposed paying such royalties under the claim that radio play serves as promotion that drives music sales’.

AFTRA sent us a lovely press release that spends an entire paragraph dropping names of important people then it explains what the release is about. We posted it after the jump and after we made fun of their release writing. Enjoy!

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SAG Cans The Negotiator, Doug Allen

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The board at the Screen Actors’ Guild sacked its chief negotiator Doug Allen.

We say – if he was really worthy of the post – he could have talked his way out of it.

LAT’s article here. THR article here. Variety here. Nikki Finke here. TheWrap is here.

SAG Strike Appears to Have Struck Out

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There was a 30-hour marathon meeting and lots of drama (hmf actors) according to most news sources. Words like ‘peril’ and ‘justice’ were undoubtedly thrown around. Moments that would have made for perfect close-ups and cut-aways – lost forever because of the fact that the negotiations weren’t actually a movie.

Anyway, the strike looks like it won’t happen. But our favorite paragraph – that basically sums up the whole episode – the perfect synopsis – if you will – was penned by LAT’s Richard Verrier:

A combination of infighting at the Screen Actors Guild, miscalculations by the union’s leadership and an unforeseen deterioration of the nation’s economy turned what might have been a facile resolution on a new contract with the major studios into a no-win situation that has left SAG grasping for a face-saving measure.

That’s some good writin’. Read the whole piece here.

SAG Postpones Vote on Strike…Officially

sag2222.jpgThe LA Times is reporting that the Screen Actors Guild has decided not to vote on whether or not to strike after the new year:

But in an e-mail to the union’s board members Monday night, SAG Executive Director Doug Allen said he and SAG President Alan Rosenberg agreed to push back the strike referendum until after the board convenes a special meeting Jan. 12 to “address the unfortunate division and restore consensus.”

Yeah, we were under the impression, because of stories in the news and statements made by SAG leadership, that the vote wasn’t going to happen until after the Golden Globes that airs January 11th.

Hmf. Actors! Always have to be at the center of attention.

Could SAG Be Being Dumped by TV?

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Nikki Finke posted the statement from Twentieth Century Television:

With all the uncertainty surrounding the stalled negotiations with SAG, TCFTV is indeed considering shooting its spring pilots under the AFTRA agreement. As for shows already in production, we are exploring every option including transitioning shows from SAG to AFTRA.

And the LAT’s Showtracker blog offers this:

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Actors Petition SAG to Not Make Them Look Like Greedy Dirt Bags

sag2222.jpgSome top actors are pleading with the Screen Actors Guild to not call for a vote on a strike next month.

From NYT:

In a petition, more than 130 well-known actors – including George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Sally Field – urged guild leaders to halt the strike authorization vote.

“We support our union and we support the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work,” the petition stated.

Seriously, what other union is threatening to strike right now? Serious? We’re in the middle of an economic meltdown. In the middle. Not even done. Still melting as we speak. And SAG doesn’t feel like they’re getting a fair deal?!

Bed-wetters.

Nikki Finke has all the details (as usual) on DHD.

Online Petition Urges SAG to Make a Deal

SAG_logo.pngThey’ve gotten over twelve thousand signatures so far on their online petition:

To: AMPTP & SAG:
To the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Screen Actors Guild, we ask that you please reach a deal as quickly as possible. We are individuals on all sides, from actors to producers, to crew members, to the audience itself who merely want to continue to enjoy entertainment as we struggle ourselves to survive. We have no agenda, we merely want what’s best for everybody. Your actions have thus far been in concern over what’s best for you as individual unions and organizations. It’s time to consider the countless others being affected by your negligence and disregard for the last several months.

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Manager Catfight Ensues with Reagan Daughter

Manager and legal precedent advocate Rick Siegel is backing personal manager Judy Coppage in her fight with Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis over a lawsuit about whether Coppage tried to get Davis a screenwriting job.pattidavis.jpg

Siegel has been fighting this good fight, first for himself, now for any managers like Coppage who attempt to represent writers, directors and actors though they’re not allowed by an antiquated state restriction that prevents managers from procuring work — even though hundreds of managers exist in Los Angeles all the time by getting work for clients.

Below are the details regarding Coppage and Patti Davis:

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No SAG Deal Until January? Hear For Yourself.

105dd47.jpgJonathan Handel does “the math” — which is good, because math is hard — and determines that Hollywood won’t see a contract until 2009.

A sample:

1. If Membership First wins the election overwhelmingly, and if SAG members overwhelmingly vote in the SAG survey (a push-poll, designed to influence people’s votes) to have the Guild continue pushing hard for a better deal (i.e., 85% or more affirmative, and a good turnout), then MF will be emboldened to call for a strike authorization vote. If that vote achieves the requisite 75% approval level (a high level, which is why it might take as much as 85% affirmative on the poll, particularly given SAG’s embarrassing failure to defeat the AFTRA deal), then SAG will have gained significant leverage against the studios. All of these conditions have to apply.

QED

In the wake of his online video interviews with reps from Membership First and United for Strength, Jonathan tells us he’ll be interviewing independent candidates this week:

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NYT Thinly Veils SAG Prez Comparison

alanrosenberg.jpgNew York Times writer Brookes Barnes has been covering the SAG talks meltdown. His previous piece about SAG President Alan Rosenberg was titled,”Guild Chief for Actors Is No Pacifist.” Barnes paints Rosenberg as a reactionary, angry ‘militant’ of a leader:

“Aside from my family, I have two great loves in my life: acting and the fight for social justice,” he [Rosenberg] said. “Oh yes, we are very serious.”

Doesn’t sound like an invite to negotiations. That and social injustice is not exactly the plight of actors in 2008…PAs, assistants, the people that have to tell Kirstie Alley she’s funny…perhaps.

The article in today’s NYT furthers this image:

The arrival of the long-scheduled elections puts SAG leaders in the awkward position of trying to convince the studios that they have the unwavering support of members while facing a referendum on their strategy. Alan Rosenberg, president of the guild, is most displeased.

“It is not productive to come out and attack leadership during a negotiation,” Mr. Rosenberg said in an interview Friday. Asked if leaders might have made mistakes in the negotiations, he said: “It’s a lie! We haven’t bungled anything. We’ve been doing a phenomenal job.”

Would he say it has been a ‘heckuva job’?

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