Dec 16, 2008
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SAG Strike’s Value Questioned by Famous Members

sag-logoThis time last year, the Writer’s Guild strike was one of the top news stories, as negotiations over payment for online viewing and the definitions of writers and producers seemed to fluctuate nightly before our eyes.  It’s a sign of the times, then, that the Screen Actor’s Guild can call for a strike vote over many of the same issues a year later and hardly even make a dent in the news cycle.  Another sign?  An open letter from prominent SAG members opposing the move.

In case you hadn’t heard, SAG has scheduled a strike vote to take place January 2, with voter cards to be counted later in the month.

Some Hollywood heavyweights came out against authorizing a strike today. In a letter penned Monday, over 130 Hollywood megastars urged the Screen Actors Guild to vote against striking. George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, among many others, said authorizing a strike would create more economic hardship:

“We support our union and … the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work…”

They called upon the SAG to join in talks when other Hollywood guilds contracts expire in three years. Among chief concerns of the stars is the financial effect a strike would have on the crews and craft services of movie productions. The stars also don’t see the need to use a strike as a bargaining tool. They contend a strike should only be used when negotiations fail.

There are a group of high profile celebrities that support authorizing a strike, including Mel Gibson, Holly Hunter and Martin Sheen.

On the web:  Jonathan Handel has a copy of the letter at his blog, Digital Media Law.

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