Action Item: SAG Actors Rally @ AMPTP
1)Check out the following message from actors Scott Wilson (IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0934113/
This is an open invitation to all members of SAG and other unions to join us and fight for our right as professionals to earn a living from our work.
In the Fox 11 News report on last week's rally: http://www.myfoxla.com/dpp/news/local/A
the AMPTP calls us "this small fringe group of SAG members". They forget that there are just 5 or 6 people who control the entire industry - production, distribution and exhibition - that's a monopoly and restraint of trade.
FACT: Universal owns NBC and Hulu.com http://hulu.com/
FACT: Disney owns ABC, in talks to buy into Hulu.com , and has agreed to air clips from Disney & ABC on YouTube.com http://youtube.com/
FACT: Viacom owns Paramount, CBS, C|Net http://cnet.com/ & TV.com http://tv.com/
FACT: News Corp owns Fox studios, Fox network, and stakes in YouTubecom and Hulu.com
FACT: Warner Bros has a huge cable empire and AOL.com http://aol.com/
FACT: Sony owns Columbia and MGM, Crackle.com http://crackle.com/ and has TV networks reaching 400 million viewers worldwide
This is only a partial listing of these self-dealing monopolies that are engaged in production, distribution and exhibition of entertainment.
AMPTP says "These [anti-trust] issues have nothing to do with our labor negotiations". Contrary to what they say, it has a profound impact on these negotiations, which amounts to price fixing.
FACT: we will lose $600 million in network move over to streaming
FACT: the fractional pension improvement, one-half of one percent, will be more than wiped out by losses in the move over of 14.8%.
FACT: They get 17 to 24 days of free streaming then pay $22.77 for 6 months of constant streaming.
FACT: pre 1971 movies: no residuals in New Media
FACT: pre 1974 tv series: no residuals in New Media
FACT: Non-union production in New Media
FACT: Product Integration: 2 jobs - 1 paycheck
FACT: Clips: As a condition of employment we lose control of name, voice and likeness
All of these issues are rollbacks.
FIGHT FOR YOUR RESIDUALS, HEALTH COVERAGE AND PENSION
As always ANYONE is welcome at these actor rallys so if you're in the Los Angeles area and are willing and available to attend, go right ahead.
2) Again we will be calling & leaving messages for Carol Lombardini, Nick Counter's replacement over at the AMPTP. You can call her all day today during business hours, 9AM to 5PM West Coast time which is 12 Noon to 8PM California time
Email is too easy to ignore and most execs don't read it themselves but they still use phones (a lot) so today we pick up the phones to support actors.
The number to call is 818-935-5920 (it's actually Nick Counter's number but a message left there will reach Ms. Lombardini the new head of the AMPTP as of yesterday)
My message for Ms Lombardini is while we're all glad to hear that there may in fact be some back channel negotiations going on per this:
We fans support actors and want them to get good deals, the very best deals possible of course, but that the rumored new offer for actors proposed by the CEOs is still completely unacceptable.
That proposed deal would ask TV show cast members who fully complied with their contracts and the wishes of the CEOs and did not accept other work during the 2007-8 WGA strike to give up the force majeure payments to which they are rightfully entitled. Neither SAG's negotiating committee nor its board of directors has the right to surrender these payments on behalf of these cast members nor should the cast members be asked to do so by either the AMPTP or the CEOs themselves just to ensure that SAG's next contract ends in 2011. That prerequisite for a deal is not a fair exchange of value and we fans and viewers won't stand for it.
It would be wise to remind Ms. Lombardini that we supported the writers getting a fair and appropriate deal last year so this year we merely ask the same for actors. If the AMPTP and CEOs want our continued support of any kind they cannot ask any one group of actors to shoulder all the costs of compromise especially not when we are aware that the CEOs personally are shouldering none of them and still rewarding themselves with generous compensation packages, packages that are inappropriate given the declines in media company shareholder value and the general quality of the conglomerate's content.
When only one side makes most of the sacrifices to make a bargain, that is surrender, not fair dealing or good faith negotiating and it will not be tolerated.
If you can call today and leave a similar kind of message of support for the actors that would be outstanding. If you're cool with leaving your name and where you live and what TV shows and movies you like do so. Just keep it polite and as pleasant as you can.