Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg spoke with KTLA’s Sam Rubin this AM:
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This article was printed from http://www.deadline.com/2008/11/sag-prez-alan-rosenberg-hopes-to-void-strike/
I wish he would stop saying 75% of membership when it is 75% of the “VOTE” Very different numbers.
SAG needs to hit the airwaves and just keep repeating evertything Rosenberg said here.
Tell as many people as you can how the AMPTP is operating and why you believe SAG is indeed different from the other unions.
I’m tired of hearing AMPTP constantly repeating “final offfer” “economic crisis” and their other buzzwords.
Fight back with truth and don’t stop til everyone listends.
Man makes a point. In the future ALL televison will be delivered through dot com site: abc.com, nbc.com, cbs.com etc. into your TV. Oh, and the future is now.
Ever watched a show at the dot com sites on your computer? In a matter of months you’ll be able to pull them up and watch them on your regular old TV. Some of you already can.
A few clicks and you’re watching CSI just like you always have, but at your leisure. And while you don’t notice a difference it’s being delivered from the dot com site. What that means is as you watch the show and the commercials none of the actors get one penny in residuals ever.
Think about it SAG members. That means you do a commercial you get the session fee for the day you work at about $700 and that’s it. The commercial can run for 50 years, and while the producers are paid to run the ad, the sponsor is moving product, you’re living in your car. If you can afford a car. Same for TV principal residuals.
People will still be their living rooms watching the same TV set they’re watching today watching the same shows and commercials. The difference is your cable box delivers shows via the internet. And because the technology in the method of delivery changed you get nothing, nada, zilch in residuals. Why. Because that is “new media.” Get it? And forget DVD residuals too-the films will be delivered via the internet-what we call “new media.”
You do know the internet is already pumped into your home via your TV cable, right? It’s there. The technology is there already–in your living room.
But don’t think the studios will make less. They are still reaching the same viewers with their shows and their commercials. And they’ll make a little more because actors will be cut out of the payroll equation, then those in the other unions.
It’s not about greed on the part of SAG, just about survival. And if you’re not in our particular union your earnings will follow suit in your next contract with the AMPTP’s attitude, “c’mon every other union agreed to this New Media paycut, don’t be greedy. Actors work for $5000 a year ,PERIOD, you can’t expect us to pay YOU more.”
It’s time to wake up to new media, folks. We’re all in the same boat and if you’re not with us all you’re doing is sinking your boat, our boat, this boat.
The AMPTP has the power and the grip on hollywood, maybe a strike would let them know how serious SAG is about not backing down to lousy terms for future earnings.
Sorry Alan, no sale.
SAG’s strike will cripple the LA econmomy. If they do strike, then it will be a disaster for the entire community that is still reeling from the WGA strike.
Alan, lead, follow or get out of the way. Make up your effing mind. Either destroy Hollywood by striking or stop being such a pussy and work this out.
I don’t see how a strike is even realistic to threaten; I mean seriously a strike in the middle of one of the greatest economic meltdowns since The Depression? It’s just not feasible or smart…I can’t see how any struggling actor at the moment would agree to this.
You know, anti-MF-ers and all SAG leadership haters – even Hillary’s people got behind the common good.
Rosenberg lays it out pretty clearly.
If you believe the AMPTP has made a decision, strategically, to deny ANY good faith negotiations on ANY of the points Rosenberg mentions, UNLESS they are faced with an actual strike authorization, then we HAVE to give the leadership what it needs.
Then, the ball will be in the AMPTP’s court. Do THEY want a war over this, or, do THEY want to be reasonable and stop pretending what they’re offering isn’t a massive rollback for actors?
WE MUST have a contract that FAIRLY compensates actors for residuals in new media. Without it, there is no profession. Do YOU want to live off half the income you make in any given year? I sure don’t.
Do you want to face an army of nonunion actors rushing in to fill the void, so the producers can “experiment” because they need “flexibility” to create original content for the web, and they have set up a ridiculously high “floor” – 15k per minute – (the average cost being 2k per minute) UNDER which, they can produce NONUNION.
They want us to put a huge nonunion space IN OUR OWN CONTRACT!
WE have to get them to pay what they already owe us on force majeure (60 MILLION!), which they refuse to do! They OWE US THE MONEY FOLKS – and they won’t pay it! – AND, they also want to do away with force majeure – period! – a right we’ve had since Jimmy Cagney was making his early pictures!
They are ALREADY NOT PAYING the WGA’s new media residuals in the WGA’s new contract! ALREADY! And that’s the BAD contract SAG is fighting off!
They want to be able to use our images on the net in any way they want, without our permission, and without paying us!
They want to force us to be walking sandwich boards for product placement so they can pull in those dollars to help the cost of making movies and TV shows –
WHICH, if you’re a commercial actor, means, YOU DON’T GET THAT DETERGENT COMMERCIAL, because in an episode of “Two and a Half Men” you were forced to play an entire scene with a Tide Detergent container in your hand!
It’s a whole new ballgame folks – and simply because the DGA and the WGA (which has been supportive) made a bad deal for their members, doesn’t mean SAG, which this deal effects MUCH worse than directors or writers, must make the same deal for ITS MEMBERS.
I like what Mr. Rosenberg has to say, he stated SAG’s case very well, and it’s no surprise that there isn’t any response from the Evil Empire. I just wish he hadn’t said he’s a middle class actor. I think that his wife is pulling in a lot more than middle class wages. I remember Bill Clinton being honest enough to say that, as far as health care goes “I’m covered”, then went on to state he was fighting for those that weren’t. I would have been happier if Mr. Rosenberg would have been gracious enough not to classify himself in the middle class ranks.
Still no actual reason given by Rosenberg why SAG deserves a different contract than the other six unions other than, “We want our say at the table”. The industry is bigger than just ‘the actors’. Ancilliary companies that rely on production for revenue and income are folding and or laying off workers, because of these failed Labor Negotiations. Look at the hundreds of jobs lost in the non studio post production industry, because of this ongoing ‘negotiation’.
Nobody wants a strike. Why do you think the WGA agreed to a last minute round of negotiations in order to try to avoid a strike last November? Simply put, they didn’t want to strike while the AMPTP wanted it so they can kill the TV season, but I am guessing Nick Counter miscalculated and didn’t figure in the $60 million owed to SAG in Force Majeure. With that, we can reasonably guess that the last hours of negotiating before the strike was just a stalling tatic since the AMPTP walked out on the stroke of midnight on November 5th, 2007. This time around, the AMPTP is pushing SAG to take a horrible deal hoping that they back down and don’t strike which means that they have to take the deal. The AMPTP offer on the table hurts the Tom Hanks’ of the world as well as the working actor. Yes Tom Hanks gets the million dollar deal, but he also survives via the resdues he makes with any movie including Apollo 13, Big, and Forrest Gump.
Right now, the task for the SAG membership is to vote to give the board the authority to call a strike. Like Allen said, this isn’t a tool to call for the actual strike, but a tool to scare the AMPTP back to the bargaining table. If the AMPTP refuses to negotiate, then it is time for action where the AMPTP will force SAG to strike. If the AMPTP was sincere, a deal would have been done a long time ago, and nobody would be in this mess.
Rosenberg calling himself middle-class is laughable and shows how out-of-touch he is with the problems of the true middle class – especialy the IATSE members who will be hurt most by a strike.
I’d give my vote to authorize a strike. I’ve been sick and used my residuals to pay my bills for 2 months. This is what we actually live on. This gives the average actor in this town a chance for a savings, to pay for our workshops so that we can stay in shape, work on our weaknesses, develop new skills and sharpen the old ones for that next job. They want professionals. I am a professional. I’ve worked hard to become the actor that I am today.
They need people with skills to help them create a valuable product. Otherwise they’ll continue with these Reality shows, which in my opinion lowers the standards of quality work for their customers the audience at large.
Why not take a year off for a strike. During that time, stop making movies and TV programs altogether. Spend the time figuring out how to produce quality entertainment instead of the garbage currently coming out of the industry. As George Carlin once said, I tried turning up the “brightness” on my TV but that didn’t work.
Good simple points, nice measured tone = well done, Alan. Now if you can continue to keep that tone and also take a breath when it’s back to press with both sides talking, and they’re lying and making ridiculous statements that would piss us all off … that would be seriously cool.
Let’s let producers’ misguided PR do the screeching and lying, not us.
What I don’t understand is why we don’t get a hold of the CEO’s salaries and bonus packages and do a little PR of our own. Publish them! We certainly witnessed an effective dressing down of the “Big Three” by Congress. Private jets anyone? Why not parade the “Robber Baron” studio chiefs in front of the public while we are educating our members? What was Moonvess’s bonus? 30 million? Before we go back to negotiate let’s show, if not the sham, the inconsistencies of their “these are hard times” argument. Personally, I kinda like Obama’s idea of “spreading the wealth around.”
Thank You Mr. Rosenberg. Thank You for fighting for us. I have sent this link to every actor I know and asked them to pass it along to the other actors they know. I am really proud and grateful to you for all your hard work.
United We Stand
I love for the producers found a way to fit the phrase “bail out” in their press release. It’s like John McCain is doing their press for them. Super transparent and not remotely effective. I support the actors but the producers have them by the balls. The actors are going to loose this fight. They CAN’T strike. There is too much fear in the community about the state of the economy. It’s just not going to happen. The actors need to really think about what it is they are looking for in this fight because THIS fight is happening today and not 6 mouths ago when it should have happened. TODAY they will never get a strike vote…no matter how right they are.
He is absolutely correct in saying that SAG made major moves, while the AMPTP did not budge. The AMPTP and its tools are lying when they claim SAG made a generous offer. Since when is a rollback generous?
To those who whine, “You can’t strike now…look at the bad economy!”
That’s exactly why we need to do all we can, because as bad as the economy is now, for actors it will be bread lines if they rollback our residuals and cheat us out of new media like they did VHS and DVD.
To those who buy into the b.s. argument of “Why should SAG get better than the other unions?”
I don’t care if the other unions had to take it up the poop chute, that’s their business. The offer is bad, plain and simple. I’m not a member of the other Unions (well, I am a member of AFTRA but that isn’t a union it’s a doormat) I’m a member of SAG and don’t want to see 80 years of work flushed down the drain just because other unions took a bad deal.
Time to fight. We are at a crossroads here, people! Vote for the authorization in huge numbers. Let the greedy pricks know that we are willing to fight for our rights.
Alan, thanks for being our gladiator. Give him the yes vote so that if he needs to use it he can stand up and say to the membership, “At my signal…unleash hell!”
What I find ridiculous is the calls by others for SAG not to even AUTHORIZE a strike. This is taking the safety off the nuclear weapons, but we have to do this. What the AMPTP has given us as their last, best and final offer is nothing less than the END OF ACTING as a profession. Single people cannot survive without residuals, let alone families. The AMPTP, in a cloud of words and other conceptual nonsense is hiding one clear goal: to reset the entire agreement with actors as the new modes of distribution render the old ones obsolete. There is nothing experimental about this technology (we’re not on ARPA net in the seventies). This is the new model where most of the content will be watched by download and scheduled by the view, movies, tv, or what have you. Actors must be paid every time their work is viewed. Period. If it isn’t, if some new free exception is granted this time through, the producers will simply grab all that profit, pay us nothing and there will be no professional actors because there will be no profession. Just a weird blend of stringers surviving on nothing while the same product reaches ever larger audiences through the ubiquity of the internet.
SAG must threaten the structure of the business (and those that think this insane, imagine if you had your pay cut by 2/3 and then see how insane this is) to get the producer’s attention.
Give us the same cut of this we get of every other form of media and we will be happy. Screw with us, try to get a freebie on us and things are going to be dreadful. We cannot cave on this.
This is nothing less than the future of acting as a profession.
And yes, I work, and yes I understand the ancillary and collateral damage a strike causes. I wouldn’t advocate this for bits and pieces. This is real to us and it is our future.
Look, it’s not like SAG doesn’t have a good case to want their share of what the producers are getting. But the truth is that the public backlash to an actor’s strike right now would absolutely destroy this union, not unite it. Go read some of the average guy’s response to articles about this strike on Huffington Post, for example, and you’ll see some amazing (and vitriolic) misconceptions. Go outside the industry bubble, mention actors wanting to strike, and you’ll hear an earful — all anti-actors, no anti-producers. It’s an amazing reality check that SAG member should at least take into consideration when issuing their strike vote.
I think the fact that actors have a reason to strike won’t help the result of a strike, which would be disastrous and unproductive. Sorry.
Every actor I know is going to vote YES. We all understand that it’s now or never, and we don’t want our profession to die off. We want to keep residuals and a commercial career as well as theatrical — all would be devastated if we didn’t stand firm and strike. We also want to be properly compensated for online viewing the moment it appears online.
We believe there is too much greed at the top with the moguls, and that now is the time for the end of that absolute greed.
We hope SAG strikes with fury — fast, quick, and with clarity. We will picket. We will support a strike.
CHEERS to Channel 5 (Tribune) for interviewing Alan and getting his side of the story (see above clip.)
JEERS: to Channel 5 10PM news for showing just one sound byte of Alan’s interview – the part about bullets for our gun. And then doing a poll of 3 actors out in the valley getting coffee who were “like this is not a good time to strike because of like the like economy and stuff.”
Wow, that’s a good representative sample and it’s like they like got their responses directly fed to them by the AMPTP. Not one of them seemed to be aware of the fact that the deal that is being forced on us contains rollbacks and completely cuts us out of new media and the whole damn future. You can bet these uninformed three actors will be the first ones to bitch about “the union isn’t doing anything” when they realize they didn’t get residuals for their work on the internet.
I know Tribune is a big company and they are going to be a mouthpiece for the AMPTP…but come on, most of the actors I know are voting Yes on the strike authorization. But based on the three morons Channel 5 interviewed they’ve decided it won’t pass. Sheesh.
I wish I wrote down the names of the actors they interviewed. I’d post their names here and maybe somebody would know them and inform them about what’s at “like” stake here.
Come one IATSE. If the AMPTP was trying to shove a contract down your throat that would cut your wages in half you’d be screaming bloody murder. Shut up.
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