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Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find You

Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find YouEXCLUSIVE: The Screen Actors Guild exists to collect wages and benefits and disperse them to dues-paying members, but a Deadline investigation begs a multimillion-dollar question: Why are so many living and deceased thesps owed unclaimed residual checks worth $40 million, money that is drawing interest for the union’s general fund? The roll call of Who’s Owed is a Hollywood Who’s Who, including more than 75 Oscar-winning actors or their estates and dozens of Emmy winners who likely are unaware they are owed residuals. A union spokesperson tells Deadline the union is working to locate those members, but it is difficult because people change agents and don’t notify the union, or they move and mailed checks are returned by the post office and never cashed.

Still, could it really be that hard to find some of these performers? Deadline found that if you threw a rock on the red carpet of any major industry event, chances are you’d hit somebody SAG owes money to.

Jodie Foster Warren BeattyLike: reigning Best Actress Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, and Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell, and former Oscar host Steve Martin. Or Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Jodie Foster, Warren Beatty, Jay Leno, Sally Field, Sean Connery, Christopher Plummer, Channing Tatum, James Franco, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, Owen Wilson, Justin Timberlake, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Zac Efron and Andrew Garfield.

The music side of the ledger of Who’s Owed reads like a wing … Read More »

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Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health Contributions

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 6:45pm PDT

Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health ContributionsEXCLUSIVE: While SAG-AFTRA officials have been touting all the benefits of the union’s proposed new film and TV contract, they’ve remained mum about one key issue: How will the 17% of actors’ earnings that employers pay into the union’s two separate pension and health plans be allocated? It’s a key question because the two plans – the SAG Pension and Health Plan and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund – have different eligibility requirements and offer different benefit packages.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?

Deadline has learned that SAG’s Pension and Health Plan will receive contributions from new one-hour network shows (mostly dramas), new half-hour basic cable shows (mostly sitcoms), and everything new made for syndication, other than shows made for the CW. Contributions on earnings from new TV shows made for new media, pay TV and home video also will go into the SAG plan.

Related: (Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Contract

AFTRA’s Health and Retirement fund will receive contributions on earnings from new half-hour network shows (mostly sitcoms) and new one-hour basic cable shows (mostly dramas), all new longform TV shows (such as miniseries and telefilms), and everything made for CW. Read More »

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: Aereo & The Copyright Office, ‘Big Bang Theory’ Limbo, SAG-AFTRA’s Top 10 (Video)

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT
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Morning Report, Thursday July 17

Another setback for Aereo as the copyright office denies its request to be classified as a cable company, the entire cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' is without contracts less than 2 weeks before start of production, SAG-AFTRA posts its Top 10 list of reasons to vote yes on the new contract. Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.

Related:
Copyright Office Rejects Aereo’s Request To Be Classified As A Cable Company
‘The Big Bang Theory’ Production Start In Limbo As Cast Contract Negotiations Drag On
SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract

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SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?Taking a cue from David Letterman, SAG-AFTRA has released a “Top Ten” list of reasons why its members should vote “yes” on the union’s just-negotiated film and TV contract. We’ve laid out the list here, with some heavy-handed editing for, ahem, excessive length, but all the words are theirs, not ours. What do you think about their list? Do you have your own list of reasons (yes or no) to back the contract?

Read More »

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Marvel Wants SCOTUS To Reject Jack Kirby Heirs’ “Bizarre” Rights Petition

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 2:18pm PDT

Marvel Wants SCOTUS To Reject Jack Kirby Heirs’ “Bizarre” Rights PetitionEXCLUSIVE: No big surprise that today Marvel and Disney asked the Supreme Court to deny a petition from the heirs of Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men co-creator Jack Kirby. “This case presents a factbound application of a test uniformly adopted by the lower courts under a statute that does not apply to works created after 1978,” said a response filed today (read it here). “It implicates no circuit split, no judicial taking, no due process violation, and no grave matter of separation of powers. It does not remotely merit this Court’s review,” added the media giant’s main attorney in the matter, R. Bruce Rich. In case, Marvel’s rejection of the heirs desires were not clear enough, the Disney-owned company really hits it hard elsewhere in today’s response. “In likely recognition of the fact that the statutory question does not satisfy the requirements for this Court’s review, petitioners turn to a series of bizarre constitutional arguments raised for the first time in this Court,” says Marvel. “Those arguments only underscore that none of the questions presented merits this Court’s plenary consideration.”

DJP LEGAL BADGEIn a move that could have huge copyright implications for the entertainment industry if it went before the nine justices and they found in the heirs’ favor, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the SCOTUS this spring to hear their much-denied case. The heirs contended they had the right in 2009 to issue 45 termination notices to Marvel and others including Fox, … Read More »

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(Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Contract

(Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New ContractAs expected, the national board of SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly tonight to approve the terms of a new three-year film and TV contract. It now will go to the union’s 165,000 members for final ratification. The new contract had been unanimously recommended to the board by the union’s negotiating committee, which included SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard and National Executive Director David White. The board tonight voted 90% to 10% to approve the new contract, which achieved the major goal of the union going into the talks: the unification of its two separate television contracts.

Related: Guild Official: Merging SAG And AFTRA TV Deals Key Goal Of Talks

When SAG and AFTRA merged in 2012, the new union was stuck with two separate pension and health plans, and two separate TV contracts. The unification of the TV contracts, which guild leaders called “historic,” is considered a major milestone in the still-evolving merger of the two unions.

Related:
WGA Members OK New Contract; Turnout Less Than 15%
DGA, Producers Reach Tentative Deal On Terms of New Contract

Read More »

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UPDATE: Details Emerge About SAG-AFTRA’s “Historic” New Film And TV Contract

By | Friday July 4, 2014 @ 11:26am PDT

UPDATE: Details Emerge About SAG-AFTRA’s “Historic” New Film And TV ContractUPDATED, 12:50PM: Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, calling their new film and TV contract “historic,” have something to celebrate this Fourth of July. The tentative new contract, reached early this morning after two months of hard bargaining, achieved the major goal of the union going into the talks: the merger of its two separate TV contracts.

When SAG-AFTRA merged in 2012, it was stuck with two separate pension and health plans and two separate TV contracts, which allowed TV producers to shop for the best terms. This anomaly created a landslide of producers rushing to shoot their projects under AFTRA’s TV contract, which was threatening to dry up employer contributions to SAG’s pension and health plan.

The new contract also achieved the first industry-wide agreement for performers in basic cable production, which now will be incorporated into the new Television Agreement.

In short, it’s a huge victory for the union, and a major milestone on the road to completing the merger of the two unions that was started two years ago.

“Unifying the legacy SAG and AFTRA contracts was essential, and I am very pleased that we were able to achieve that,” SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said in a statement. “As important, we have established an industry-wide, basic cable agreement – something we have wanted for two decades. We’ve also secured a very competitive wage package for members and a large bump in our pension, health and retirement contributions. This is a great package with real, measurable gains in numerous areas of our … Read More »

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SAG-AFTRA, Producers Reach Tentative Agreement On New Film & TV Contract

SAG-AFTRA, Producers Reach Tentative Agreement On New Film & TV ContractEXCLUSIVE: It’s a happy Fourth of July in Hollywood. After nearly two months of talks and three last-minute 24-hour extensions, a tentative agreement has been reached on a new three-year SAG-AFTRA film and television contract. Terms were not announced.

Here is the sides’ verbose joint statement: “Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) today reached tentative agreement for motion picture production. Negotiations, which began on May 5th, resulted in a new 2014 Producers-SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement and an industry-wide 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement as the successor agreement to Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, The CW Supplement, and the basic cable agreements. The terms of the new agreements will be presented to the SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors at its July 12 meeting.”

Related: DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Midnight Rider’ Criminal Charges, July 4th Holiday Box Office, SAG-AFTRA Talks Extended Again (Video)

The deal still must be ratified by the guild’s members. It replaces the old contract, which had been set to expire on June 30 but was extended to allow bargaining to continue. The ratification process will take several weeks to complete, during which time the terms of the old contract will remain in effect.

Related:
WGA Members OK New Contract; Turnout Less Than 15%
DGA, Producers Reach Tentative Deal On Terms of New Contract

Read More »

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Midnight Rider’ Criminal Charges, July 4th Holiday Box Office, SAG-AFTRA Talks Extended Again (Video)

By | Thursday July 3, 2014 @ 11:50am PDT
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Morning Report, Thursday July 3

'Midnight Rider' filmmakers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, a computer glitch at AMC theaters delayed overnight Wednesday's box office grosses at the start of the busy July 4th holiday weekend, SAG-AFTRA and producers have extended contract talks for a third day. Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.

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SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks Extended Again, Will Resume Thursday

SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks Extended Again, Will Resume ThursdayNegotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract have adjourned for the night and will resume Thursday in the hope that an elusive deal can still be reached. The current contract had been set to expire on June 30 but now has been extended three times to allow bargaining to continue.

The sides issued a joint statement: “Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have jointly agreed to extend for a third day the current TV/Theatrical contracts, which are set to expire at midnight tonight. The extensions will expire at midnight on July 3, 2014. Negotiations will continue under the previously announced media blackout.”

Related: DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Tammy’ Kicks Off July 4th Holiday Box Office, ESPN Scores Again With World Cup Ratings, SAG-AFTRA Still Talking (Video)

While it was widely expected that SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations with the studios and networks would be more difficult and take longer than the other big Hollywood unions, few anticipated the talks would go past the expiration of the current contract. The DGA reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after just a few weeks of talks late last year. And while the WGA’s negotiations took longer and were more tense, the writers also reached an agreement with the studios and networks after … Read More »

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Tammy’ Kicks Off July 4th Holiday Box Office, ESPN Scores Again With World Cup Ratings, SAG-AFTRA Still Talking (Video)

By | Wednesday July 2, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT
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Morning Report, Wednesday June 2

Melissa McCarthy starrer 'Tammy' scores $1.3M in late night opening, World Cup continues to deliver record ratings for ESPN, still no contract agreement as SAG-AFTRA talks are extended for a second day. Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.

Related:
July 4th Holiday’s ‘Tammy,’ Bows To $1.3M Late Night
World Cup Delivers ESPN’s Highest Overnight Rating Ever
SAG-AFTRA Film And TV Contract Talks Extended Again

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SAG-AFTRA Film And TV Contract Talks Extended Again

SAG-AFTRA Film And TV Contract Talks Extended AgainFor the second day in a row, negotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and television contract have adjourned without an agreement and the old contract has been extended for another day. The talks for a new three-year actors contract, which began May 5, will resume Wednesday morning.

The sides issued a joint statement: “The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have jointly agreed to extend for a second day the current TV/Theatrical contracts, which are set to expire at midnigh ttonight. The extensions  will expire at midnight on July 2, 2014.”

The parties had agreed late Monday to extend the talks for 24 hours in the … Read More »

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: SAG-AFTRA Extend Contract, Beach Boys Pic Among CA Tax Credits Winners, World Cup Ratings (Video)

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Morning Report, Tuesday, July 1

SAG-AFTRA and producers are in overtime with their contract talks, having extending last night's midnight deadline; California reveals its list of film and TV projects that will receive production tax credits; and the World Cup continues to deliver big ratings in U.S. and abroad. Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.

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SAG-AFTRA Film & TV Talks Extended 24 Hours As Old Contract Set To Expire

SAG-AFTRA Film & TV Talks Extended 24 Hours As Old Contract Set To ExpireTalk about waiting for the last minute. After almost two months of talks on a new three-year film and TV contract, negotiators for the actors union and producers tonight extended their current contract and dealmaking attempts another 24 hours, both sides announced. Here’s the joint statement SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television just released:

Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have agreed to extend for 24 hours the current TV/Theatrical contracts set to expire at midnight tonight. The extensions are effective from 12:00 a.m. July 1, 2014 and expire at 11:59 p.m., July 1, 2014.

The extensions are effective for the Producers-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement, Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, The CW Supplement, all basic cable agreements that incorporate by reference the aforementioned contracts, and all associated schedules, exhibits, side letters and supplemental agreements now in force.

Negotiations will continue under the previously announced media blackout.

We have no further comment.

Related:
Guild Official: Merging SAG And AFTRA TV Deals Key Goal Of Ongoing Contract Talks
WGA Members Approve New Contract; Less Than 15% Of Eligible Voters Cast Ballots
DGA, Producers Reach Tentative Deal On Terms of New Contract

Once the two … Read More »

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New Rule Lets Actors Combine SAG & AFTRA Earnings To Qualify For Health Care

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 2:04pm PDT

New Rule Lets Actors Combine SAG & AFTRA Earnings To Qualify For Health CareAs negotiators work to beat the midnight deadline for a new SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract, the union has taken the first major step toward merging its two separate health care plans. Effective tomorrow, actors for the first time can combine their earnings under SAG and AFTRA’s separate film and TV contracts in order to reach the minimum threshold of $15,100 to qualify for SAG Plan II health benefits. Until now, hundreds of actors who didn’t earn enough under either of the union’s separate TV contracts had to go without union health coverage.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Extras Squeezed Out Of Health & Pension Plans

Income from SAG and AFTRA’s separate contracts earned from April 1, 2013, through March 31 will be combined. Going forward, all earnings reported to both plans during each applicable 12-month base earnings period will be combined to allow for greater access to union health benefits. It is, at least in part, a fulfillment of the promise that one day the union’s two separate plans would be merged into one — which a SAG-AFTRA official said last month was a key goal of the merged union.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Takes “First Step” To Merge Health Plans

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Transformers 4′ Box Office Dispute, France Advances In World Cup, SAG-AFTRA Talks Go Down To The Wire (Video)

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT
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Morning Report, Monday June 30

Paramount says 'Transformers 4' pulled in a three-day gross of $100M, but others disagree, World Cup continues to bring in record ratings for ESPN and Univision, SAG-AFTRA and producers are still talking ahead of tonight's midnight contract deadline. Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.

Related:
Insiders Dispute Paramount’s $100M Claim For Weekend
World Cup Ratings: Univision Hits Highest Viewership Ever
SAG-AFTRA Film and TV Contract Expires at Midnight Monday

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SAG-AFTRA Film and TV Contract Expires at Midnight Monday

By | Sunday June 29, 2014 @ 5:59pm PDT

SAG-AFTRA Film and TV Contract Expires at Midnight MondayNegotiations for a new SAG-AFTRA film and television contract are coming down to the wire. The union’s current contract expires midnight Monday night, and neither side will say whether they are close to a deal. The contract generates more than $1 billion annually for the union’s members.
If a deal isn’t reached by then, the union and management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers can extend the contract until an agreement is reached. If the two sides reach an impasse, it could take as long as a month for the union to conduct a strike authorization vote among its 165,000 members.
The contract talks, which began May 5, have been conducted under a so-called “press blackout.” The AMPTP has been keeping the studios and networks apprised of any progress, or lack thereof. The only ones who don’t know what’s going on are the union’s members.

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Reactions: Aereo’s Chet Kanojia Says “We Will Continue To Fight”; More

By and | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 9:09am PDT

Reactions: Aereo’s Chet Kanojia Says “We Will Continue To Fight”; MoreThe industry is weighing in on the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning that the Aereo streaming service violates broadcast companies’ copyrights. Refresh for latest…

Chet Kanojia, Aereo CEO and founder
“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a massive setback for the American consumer. We’ve said all along that we worked diligently to create a technology that complies with the law, but today’s decision clearly states that how the technology works does not matter. This sends a chilling message to the technology industry.  It is troubling that the Court states in its decision that, ‘to the extent commercial actors or other interested entities may be concerned with the relationship between the development and use of such technologies and the Copyright Act, they are of course free to seek action from Congress.’ (Majority, page 17) That begs the question: Are we moving towards a permission-based system for technology innovation?

Image (2) ChetKanojia__140418153701.jpg for post 716320“Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country’s fabric. Using an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful for more than 60 million Americans across the United States.  And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle.”

“Justice Scalia’s dissent gets its right. He calls out the majority’s opinion as ‘built on the shakiest of foundations.’ (Dissent, page 7)  Justice Scalia goes on to say that ‘The Court vows that its ruling will not affect cloud-storage providers and cable television systems, see ante, at 16-17, but it cannot deliver on that promise given the imprecision of its results-driven rule.’ (Dissent, page 11)

“We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done.  We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”

Gordon Smith, National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO
“NAB is pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the concept of copyright protection that is enshrined in the Constitution by standing with free and local television. Aereo characterized our lawsuit as an attack on innovation; that claim is demonstrably false. Broadcasters embrace innovation every day, as evidenced by our leadership in HDTV, social media, mobile apps, user-generated content, along with network TV backed ventures like Hulu.

“Television broadcasters will always welcome partnerships with companies who respect copyright law. Today’s decision sends an unmistakable message that businesses built on the theft of copyrighted material will not be tolerated.”

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No Urgency In SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks As June 30 Deadline Looms

No Urgency In SAG-AFTRA Contract Talks As June 30 Deadline LoomsWith just two weeks to go before the current SAG-AFTRA film and TV contract expires, negotiations are continuing today with no apparent sense of urgency. The contract talks, which began May 5, have yet to convene on the weekends. “The offices are closed,” a security guard said Saturday at the AMPTP’s offices in Sherman Oaks, where the talks are being held. “There’s no one in there.”

SAG-AFTRA is cutting it much closer to the deadline than either the DGA or WGA did in their recent contract talks. The directors reached a deal a full 7½ months before their contract expired, and the writers reached a deal 29 days before their deal expired. Even if a deal for a new actors’ contract is reached this week, the ratification process could take a month to complete. The union’s board of directors would have to approve any deal first, and then ballots would be mailed to the union’s 247,000 members. Returning and counting the ballots would take several more weeks, pushing final ratification well beyond the expiration of the current pact.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Talks: What To Expect

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