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SAG National Board Okays AFTRA Merger: Combined Union To Be Named SAG-AFTRA

By | Friday January 27, 2012 @ 6:56pm PST

SAG Will Include Anti-Merger Statement With Voting Materials Sent To Members

No surprise on the timing of these SAG and AFTRA National Board Of Directors votes because an announcement will be made at the SAG Awards televised Sunday night on TNT/TBS. Here’s SAG’s statement followed by AFTRA’s:

LOS ANGELES (January 27, 2012) – The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend a plan to merge with AFTRA. The board met in a regularly scheduled plenary meeting in the James Cagney Board Room at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters and voted after reviewing a merger package put forward by the SAG and AFTRA Group for One Union (G1) that includes a Merger Agreement and Constitution.

Collectively, these documents outline the plan of merger, dues and finance structure, membership requirements, and other basic attributes of the successor union. The same merger package must now be approved by AFTRA’s National Board of Directors which is scheduled to meet on Jan. 28, to review and vote on the package. Should the AFTRA board approve the merger package as well, a referendum will be sent out for a vote by members of both unions in the coming weeks.

The proposed name for the new union is SAG-AFTRA.

The resolution read:

“It was moved and seconded that the National Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the Merger Task Force, approves

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SAG Awards Ballot Instructions Mailed Out

By | Friday December 30, 2011 @ 12:01am PST

Postcards with ballot instructions for voting on the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be mailed today to nearly 100,000 SAG members. Eligible members who paid their November dues by Friday, December 16 can vote for outstanding performances in five movie and eight television categories. Online voting is encouraged. Paper ballots may be obtained by request only by calling toll free (877) 610-8637 before 5 p.m. (PT) on Monday, Jan.16th. A list of this year’s nominees is at All votes whether cast online or via paper ballot must be received by noon (PT) on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 at Integrity Voting Systems, the Guild’s official tabulator. Results will be tallied and sealed until the envelopes are opened onstage Sunday, January 29 at ceremonies telecast live from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center by TNT and TBS starting at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT). An encore presentation will follow immediately on TNT at 10 p.m. (ET) / 7 p.m. (PT). SAG’s members will also cast ballots for the 2012 SAG Honors for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles. Those winners will be announced during the Red Carpet Pre-Show webcast on and, which begins at 6 p.m. (ET) / 3 p.m. (PT).

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SAG Extends David White’s Term Until 2014

By | Thursday December 29, 2011 @ 1:18pm PST

The Screen Actors Guild has extended executive director David White’s contract through 2014, Deadline has confirmed. The extension was not announced. White’s existing contract would have expired in February 2012, but with the proposed merger of SAG with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists on the agenda next year SAG’s board wanted to maintain continuity in leadership. White has been executive director officially since October 18, 2009. He had been interim exec director since January 26 that year. White previously worked at SAG as general counsel from 2002 through 2006.

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SAG Health & Pension Plan Fund Scandal: Hundreds Sign Petition For Impartial Probe

By | Monday December 19, 2011 @ 10:32pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: An ad hoc group of SAG members describing itself as “sick and tired of the corruption” last week hand delivered this letter of protest to the Screen Actors Guild’s Board Of Trustees, including SAG National Executive Director David White and senior legal counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. It is now a petition with hundreds of SAG member signatures. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: with the SAG/AFTRA merger on the horizon, the SAG board needs to put an end to the increasing lack of transparency surrounding all its meetings and activities:

December 11, 2011
The Board of Trustees

Dear Board of Trustees of SAG – PPHP

We come to you as deeply concerned SAG members with a vested interest in our Health and Pension Plans. We want you to know that just because we have been sitting on the sidelines, it doesn’t mean we have not been paying attention.

Superficial Investigation

• First, in just the last two months, it has come to our attention that an “independent investigator,” attorney Nancy Solomon, was hired by the Plans to investigate unlawful activity by Mr. Bruce Dow, CEO of SAG-PPHP. These alleged wrongdoings were cited by former Executive Director of HR/Payroll at SAG-PPHP, Mr. Craig E. Simmons.

We put the term “independent investigator” in quotes because we have concerns about just how independent Ms. Solomon’s investigation was.

It is our understanding that Ms. Solomon is not only a friend of Mr. David White (SAG National Executive Director) but also

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SAG Awards Nomination Deadline Thursday

By | Wednesday October 26, 2011 @ 8:25am PDT

LOS ANGELES (October 26, 2011) – The deadline for consideration for nomination for this year’s Actors® is fast approaching. Submissions for the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® must be filed by Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, at 5 p.m. (PT). The Screen Actors Guild Award—The Actor®—is presented for outstanding performances in motion pictures and primetime television. Actors may submit their own performances from 2011 for consideration in categories of the actor’s choosing. With the actor’s permission, producers, studios/networks, agents, managers, or publicists may also submit performances for consideration in the category designated by the actor.

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SAG Board Receives AFTRA Merger Report

Los Angeles (October 22, 2011)– The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors met in a regularly scheduled plenary meeting on October 22, in the James Cagney Board Room at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters.

The meeting began with a moment of silence in honor of members who have passed away since the last meeting. The board received reports from operational departments, committees and task forces including:

Merger Task Force
President Ken Howard reported to the board on the efforts of the Guild’s Merger Task Force and efforts to unite SAG and AFTRA members in a single successor union.

The Board also received status reports from member and staff co-leads of each of the six merger workgroups:
· Governance & Structure
· Operations & Staff
· Finance & Dues
· Collective Bargaining
· Pension, Health & Retirement
· Member Education & OutreacH

Finance Report
· National Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino delivered a report on the Guild’s first quarter financial results noting that SAG’s revenue and expenses are tracking the budget for fiscal year 2012.

National Executive Director’s Report
· National Executive Director David White reported on operational enhancements underway at the Guild. White told the board about the continued success and expanded use of the recently launched online SAG Production Center and contract signatory function. White revealed that more than

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SAG-AFTRA Group For One Union Meets

LOS ANGELES (October 19, 2011) —- The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild convened for the third formal face‐to‐face discussions of the Group for One Union. Known as the G1, the group consists of members from the Screen Actors Guild Merger Task Force and the AFTRA New Union Committee. G1 members including actors, performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals are working to facilitate the creation of a merged successor union to represent all of the members of AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild.

In a joint statement, Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon praised the G1 members and staff noting the achievements of the five-day meetings in a joint statement, saying: “This was a remarkably productive meeting and we made solid progress across the full spectrum of issues we have to consider. The members and staff of both unions continue to work as a true team, and our efforts continue to prove that our shared interests are far greater than any differences we have. The entertainment and media industries are evolving more quickly than ever, and the chance to bring our unions together is golden opportunity – one we plan to take full advantage of. We’re committed to preserving the best aspects of our existing organizations while we build a powerful new union that will be even better equipped to take on the emerging realities we’re facing.

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Hollywood Rallies Against Iran’s Draconian Verdicts Against Filmmakers And Stars

Mike Fleming

Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Faces Six-Year Stretch
Iranian Actress Faces Flogging Over Film

In September 2011, the Iranian government arrested six independent filmmakers for allegedly working with the BBC, on charges including espionage and treason. Along with the ongoing house arrest of director Jafar Panahi and the prior arrest of actress Marzieh Vafamehr, who was later sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes, the arrests sparked outrage from filmmaking communities within Iran and around the world. Prior to the release of two of the filmmakers, all six were denied access to their lawyers and families, who were forced to remain silent.

The following entertainment industry organizations stand united in their support for the rights of these artists and call for their immediate release.

Statement from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

As an international organization representing over 6000 artists in 35 countries, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is deeply concerned whenever and wherever the rights of filmmakers are threatened. The recent arrest of six Iranian filmmakers, the sentence of “one year in jail and 90 lashes” to an actress just for playing a role in an acclaimed film, and the continued house arrest of Jafar Panahi, among others, is a situation that demands our serious attention. These filmmakers – and others – are artists, not political combatants. We join our colleagues around the world in calling unequivocally

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Bad Health & Pension News For SAG Members

By | Wednesday October 19, 2011 @ 12:22am PDT

The Screen Actors Guild’s Pension and Health Plans just informed members that minimum earnings to qualify for health coverage are increasing 2% effective January 1, 2012. Out-of-pocket maximums for individuals and families also are increasing. SAG notified members in its latest “Take 2 Newsletter” just mailed and on SAG’s website. Minimum annual earnings requirements will rise to $30,750 for Plan 1 and to $15,100 for Plan 2. Out-of-pocket in-network maximums are also increasing by $500 for individuals to $1,750, and by $1,000 to $3,500 for families. On the pension side, the earnings level increase is accelerated and a pension credit will require $20,000 in earnings effective January 1, 2012 instead of 2013. The number of qualifying days of employment will remain the same. This bad news will undoubtedly have an effect on SAG leadership’s determination to merge with AFTRA. Reps of both unions meet this weekend in a third set of confabs to hammer out details of the merger plan with the goal of presenting a final proposal to the national boards in January. The SAG/AFTRA Group for One Union will begin conferring Friday and conclude on Tuesday. So far barely any details were disclosed after meetings in June and August.

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SAG Member Cops Plea On Screener Leak

By | Wednesday September 14, 2011 @ 8:57pm PDT

Actor Wes DeSoto has agreed to plead guilty to copyright infringement for leaking an awards screener of Black Swan and other films to file-sharer BitTorrent. DeSoto’s L.A. apartment was raided by FBI agents in April after a MPAA piracy officer tipped the feds that several high-quality copies of feature films had shown up on the site. The bootlegs were review screeners provided through the iTunes store to members of the Screen Actors Guild. The authorities pinpointed DeSoto as the culprit through digital watermarks in the movies, according to an FBI affidavit. Federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence between 10 to 16 months, but the government is seeking three years of probation and restitution. DeSoto is expected to appear in federal court for sentencing next month.

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Mary Tyler Moore To Receive SAG’s Life Achievement Award

By | Thursday September 8, 2011 @ 6:50am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mary Tyler Moore will receive the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented Jan. 29 at the 18th annual SAG Awards in Los Angeles. ”Mary Tyler Moore won our hearts as Laura Petrie and Mary Richards, our respect as her production company became synonymous with quality television, our awe as she tackled difficult subject matter in film and on Broadway, and our admiration she turned her public recognition into a catalyst to draw attention to critical and deeply personal health and social issues,” said SAG president Ken Howard. ”She truly embodies the spirit behind SAG’s Life Achievement Award, and we are honored to proclaim her as its 48th recipient.” Moore won two Emmys for The Dick Van Dyke Show and four for The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

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AWARDS SEASON START: Roadside’s ‘The Music Never Stopped’ First Screener Sent

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences and members of the Screen Actors Guild nominating committee received their first awards screener over Labor Day weekend: Jim Kohlberg’s The Music Never Stopped from Roadside Attractions.

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AFTRA & SAG Continue Merger Discussions

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK (August 29, 2011) —- Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists continued formal discussions this weekend between the AFTRA New Union Committee and the SAG Merger Task Force to facilitate the creation of one union to represent all members of Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA.

Meeting together as the Group for One Union, or G1, members and staff of both unions held meetings Saturday through Monday by video and teleconference between New York and Los Angeles. Originally scheduled as face-to-face meetings in New York, members and staff were cautioned not to travel due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene in New York and elsewhere along the East Coast. Both unions quickly implemented a contingency plan, however, to ensure the safety of all participants and continue the meetings as scheduled.

The G1, comprised of members including actors, performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals, received a presentation from its Member Education & Outreach Workgroup, and reviewed and discussed findings and recommendations of its Governance & Structure Workgroup. These and four other member-led workgroups have been holding discussions since they were created by the G1 at its inaugural meeting in Silver Spring, MD, June 19 -21.

“If anyone doubted our commitment to merger, what happened this weekend should put those doubts to rest – even a hurricane couldn’t stop us,” said SAG National President Ken Howard. “We covered a lot of ground and I’m

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SAG Report: Members, Read It & Weep

By | Monday August 15, 2011 @ 9:13pm PDT

What an ignoble end to a once great union. It’s been two years since the Screen Actors Guild changed leaders. So membership should look to them for the current sad state of earnings, as shown by the just-released contract report comparing 2010 revenue to previous years. It’s no surprise to the small-screen community that SAG’s TV earnings plunged -8.2% overall in 2010 compared to 2009 since the current SAG leadership did nothing the past two years to stop the TV studios and networks from using any excuse to transition from SAG to AFTRA on pilots and new shows. (Incredibly SAG leaders never uttered a peep to  membership when AFTRA in 2010 dominated the broadcast development season by seizing about 90% of the pilots.) It’s also shocking that Interactive earnings dove -31% total, demonstrating that SAG has been woefully inadequate in this expanding biz. Also disastrous was the -21% loss of revenue for background actors in both the theatrical and TV sectors. Overall theatrical for actors went up +5.7% (attributable mainly to recovery from the writers strike) and overall commercial rose +12.7% (attributable to bigger paydays negotiated because of the 2000 commercial strike). With an election coming up, SAG membership would do well to question current SAG leaders and ask if they allowed this to happen in order to ensure a merger with AFTRA. Here’s the chart:

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USAN Unveils Pro-Merger SAG Slate

United Screen Actors Nationwide has unveiled its slate of candidates for SAG’s National and New York Division elections. The group includes incumbents Ken Howard as National President, Amy Aquino as National Secretary Treasurer, Mike Hodge as NY Division President as well as 11 names for the national and New York boards. The USAN faction of the guild backs the SAG-AFTRA merger, a formal plan for which is due to the national boards in January 2012. The 2011 board candidates include comedian and first-time candidate Lewis Black. The other names: Manny Alfaro, Dave Bachman, Marc Baron, Mark Blum, Rebecca Damon, Traci Godfrey, Ezra Knight, Jay Potter, John Rothman and Kevin Scullin. Said Black: “I’m running with USAN for a simple reason: They are committed to uniting SAG and AFTRA and I want to help them make it happen.” Ballots for the election are due out next month, with results expected in September.

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SAG Calls For 2011 Fall Election Candidates: Ken Howard & Amy Aquino Running Again

By | Thursday June 23, 2011 @ 2:54pm PDT

LOS ANGELES — The National Nominating Committee of the Screen Actors Guild completed interviews and deliberations and have submitted current SAG President Ken Howard and current SAG Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino for the positions of President and Secretary-Treasurer respectively for the Guild’s upcoming National Fall election. Eligible Candidates can still qualify for the September elections by completing nominating petitions and filing them with the Guild no later than 5pm (PDT) on July 21. Petitions may be obtained through the Guild Governance office at 323/549-6614. Elections for directors and alternate directors of the national board will also take place this Fall in the Hollywood, New York and Regional Branch Divisions. Ballots will be mailed to the SAG membership on August 23, with a return deadline of September 22.

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SAG & AFTRA Start Formal Merger Talks

By | Sunday June 19, 2011 @ 3:36pm PDT

Silver Spring, Maryland (June 19, 2011) —- Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists convened this weekend for the first, formal face-to-face discussions between the AFTRA New Union Committee and the SAG Merger Task Force at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The two groups, comprised of members including actors, performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals, met together as the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA Group for One Union (G1) to facilitate the creation of one successor union to represent all of the members of AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild.

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SAG National Board Forms Task Force For January 2012 Merger With AFTRA: Read “Mission Statement”

By | Saturday April 30, 2011 @ 6:22pm PDT

Here’s the latest news from SAG. For the latest Hollywood Guilds news, see my post from earlier this week:

Los Angeles, (April 30, 2011) – The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today unanimously approved the creation of a Merger Task Force to work with their AFTRA counterparts in developing a formal plan to unite SAG and AFTRA members in one union.

The Board’s resolution instructed the newly-formed Merger Task Force “to meet with representatives of AFTRA as soon as practicable, but no later than June 2011, to initiate the development of a plan to create a successor union formed from the best elements of both SAG and AFTRA.” The full text of the resolution appears below.

Led by Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard, the Merger Task Force members were selected from among those who served on the Guild’s SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force.

The National Board’s creation of the Merger Task Force elicited enthusiastic support from the Guild’s top officers.

SAG National President Ken Howard said, “The message from SAG and AFTRA members across the country has been clear – they want this done as soon as possible. If our boards approve the merger plan in January, our members will make the final decision through a referendum vote less than a year from now. I’m proud that we’ve taken a major step today, and I’m extremely grateful for the unanimous support of the SAG National Board. I also want to thank

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17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Winners: ‘The King’s Speech’ Entire Cast, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo

LOS ANGELES — The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® for outstanding performances in 2010 are underway tonight. Of the top industry accolades presented to performers, only the Screen Actors Guild Awards are selected solely by actors’ peers. The entire active membership of the Guild across the country, approximately 100,000 actors, voted on all categories:


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
ANTHONY ANDREWS / Stanley Baldwin
JENNIFER EHLE / Myrtle Logue
COLIN FIRTH / King George VI
DEREK JACOBI / Archbishop Cosmo Lang
GEOFFREY RUSH / Lionel Logue
TIMOTHY SPALL / Winston Churchill

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

COLIN FIRTH / King George VI – THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

NATALIE PORTMAN / Nina Sayers – BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

CHRISTIAN BALE / Dicky Eklund – THE FIGHTER (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

MELISSA LEO / Alice Ward – THE FIGHTER (Paramount Pictures)


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

STEVE BUSCEMI / Nucky Thompson
DABNEY COLEMAN / Commodore Louis Kaestner
PAZ DE LA HUERTA / Lucy Danzinger
KELLY MACDONALD / Margaret Schroeder
GRETCHEN MOL / Gillian Darmody

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