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Sunday Night Massacre at SAG

Good, sweet, baby Jesus: If you needed any additional indication that two of Hollywood’s three top creative guilds have gone totally, wild-eyed radical, look at any paper this morning gaze upon the mayhem at the Screen Actors Guild.

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Yes: Newly-elected SAG president Alan Rosenberg has shot recently-installed SAG CEO Greg Hessinger out of a cannon. Also toast: The new heads of organizing strategy John Russum and commercials contracts oversight capo, JoAnne Kessler.

Agog, SAG insiders say privately this sort of senior-level executive bloodbath hasn’t been seen since since Elliot Richardson and Bill Ruckelshaus got the FBI bum’s rush out of Nixon’s Justice Department.

Expect litigation, as Hessinger has three-and-a-half years on his contract (and just moved here from New York) and SAG’s militants are essentially willing to give him busfare back from whence he came.

Perhaps “M*A*S*H’s” Mike Farrell says it best, in the Los Angeles Times, calling this is an “ugly, brutal development, surprising only in that its happening so soon.”

Yes, Mike, like so many, has seen the handwriting on the wall: Rosenberg’s and his Membership First cadres recent ascent at SAG immediately presaged two things, as Variety’s Dave McNary sagely observes today:

“Rosenberg and his allies are sending a dual message: SAG’s leaders are adamantly opposed to a merger with AFTRA, and they plan to take a far more confrontational stance with employers in negotiations and in organizing non-union work.”

Now, if these guys get into bed with the screenwriters, even reading about Hollywood labor coverage might require that minors be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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