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David A. Goodman Running Unopposed for WGA West Presidency

July 21, 2017 (20:55) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

David Goodman

July 21, 2017 | 05:18PM PT

David A. Goodman, longtime executive producer on “Family Guy,” will become the next president of the Writers Guild of America West, succeeding Howard Rodman in the post.

Rodman announced last month that he would not seek another two-year term. Goodman had been selected by the guild’s nominating committee as a candidate to succeed Rodman and was unopposed, as another unnamed candidate selected by the nominating committee declined to run.

Members were still able to run against Goodman via petition but none did so before Friday’s deadline.

Goodman served as executive producer of Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” between 2005 and 2012. He broke into the business in 1986 as a story editor on “The Golden Girls” and has writing and producing credits on “Enterprise,” “American Dad,” “Allen Gregory,” “Futurama,” “Babes,” and “Stark Raving Mad.”

The election will take place in September with dues-current members eligible to vote. Results will be announced on Sept. 18. The WGA West represents about 9,000 members.

Marjorie David, a WGA West board member, has been nominated by the committee to succeed Goodman as vice president. Another unnamed candidate declined to run against her. Aaron Mendelsohn has been nominated to seek re-election as secretary-treasurer along with board member Carleton Eastlake.

The board’s nominating committee also nominated incumbents Andrea Berloff, Luvh Rakhe, Meredith Stiehm, and Zak Penn along with nine other candidates for eight open board seats. The remaining candidates are Francesca Butler, Nicole Yorkin, Angelina Burnett, John August, Michele Mulroney, Spiro Skentzos, and Patti Carr. Adam Horowitz and Ligiah Villalobos recently withdrew their candidacies.

Rodman won the 2015 election over Joan Meyerson and was often the public face of the guild during its contentious negotiations with production companies, which led to an 11th hour deal on May 1. As VP, Goodman was an ex-officio member of the negotiating committee.

“House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon is running unopposed for the presidency of the Writers Guild of America East to succeed Michael Winship, who has opted not to run. Willimon will assume the office in September.

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And I…yes I predict he will win!  
the Ol’ SAG  Swami
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SAG-AFTRA Finalizes Field Of Candidates For President, Secretary-Treasurer

July 20, 2017 (23:27) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller


 Vote concept with text cast your vote on clean background.

It’s official: Five candidates have thrown their hats into the ring in the race to become president of SAG AFTRA. Incumbent Gabrielle Carteris will face off against challengers Esai Morales, Peter Antico, Robert B. Martin Jr. and Marilyn Monrovia. Three other candidates are running for national secretary-treasurer: incumbent Jane Austin and challengers Jason George and Chuck Slavin. Read their candidate statements below.

Gabrielle Carteris

Carteris, running on the Unite for Strength slate, said in her campaign statement that “The extraordinary privilege of serving as president is a journey I began nine years ago. After I was badly injured while filming, the union took care of me — and I pledged to give back through my service. Together we’ve accomplished so much: the historic unionization of Telemundo, working with California’s governor to pass the IMDb law, seeing our health plans merge, and now I’m focused on leading our TV/Theatrical negotiations. The work of SAG-AFTRA never stops but I bring passion to protecting our members every day. I would be deeply honored to continue fighting for you.”

Her statement, posted today on the union’s website, was written before the contract negotiations were completed. She’s now leading the effort to get the contract ratified by the guild’s members.

Morales, running on the Membership First slate, said in his statement: “Serving on the national board for 17 years has taught me well. I’ll lead our union to be transparent, inclusive and accountable. I’ll be a unifying force to preside over a divergent boardroom. Welcoming open and honest dialogue, we’ll gauge our union and chart our course. Will fight boldly and judiciously protect our standard of living including residuals, pension and health plans – especially our vulnerable members. Cross party lines to eliminate waste and inefficiency placing membership service above partisan politics. #peacefulwarrior with an artist’s heart and four decades of goodwill in this industry. Responsible proactive leadership.”

Courtesy Peter Antioco

Antico, a former member of Membership First who’s running as an independent, said in his statement that he’s a 38-year member of SAG and AFTRA and that he “helped uncover the $756,000 misappropriation of funds found in SAG’s pension fund. SAG-AFTRA is run by actors who are not educated in corporate finance, nor governance. We must restore ethics and sound business practices to SAG-AFTRA, through education, transparency, love and forgiveness. We are all responsible, good or bad, for what has taken place in SAG-AFTRA to date. Join me in affecting a change that benefits the ideology of the highest good for all.”

Martin, running independently, said in his statement: “Our president requires extreme experience and expertise in executing SAG-AFTRA contracts, not only negotiating our contracts, from background to celebrities. A working knowledge of computer architecture, mass communication, acquisition, development, production, marketing, corporate concepts, SAG-AFTRA assets, operations, budgets, R&D, brand cost consultants, including an established respected reputation/ relationship with major studios, production companies, talent, producers, directors, writers, agents, managers, and the global creative community. It can be done, it will be done, with solidarity and your vote.”

Said Monrovia: “Serving SAG-AFTRA as an independent in a top leadership role during changing times, while working alongside the members, is my goal. I will carefully listen to your ideas. Your feedback is a gift. Thanks for the opportunity to represent. Please take a moment and vote, stats say only 12% of you do! Thanks for your consideration.”

In the race for national secretary-treasurer, Austin, running as Moreles’ running mate on the Membership First slate, said in her statement that “It’s been an honor serving you as secretary-treasurer. My approach is simple. Recognize the problems and fix them. As an experienced business woman I know how to run a productive, responsive and cost efficient union. Since my election, we have seen a surplus in the millions in our finances. We have returning departments for background, singers, dancers, stunts, voiceover and sound recordings. We have negotiated excellent contracts for our broadcasters. There’s more to do. We must find a solution for our split earnings between SAG and AFTRA’s pension plans to finally merge them.”

George, who as Carteris’ running mate, said in his statement: “Smart, successful organizations understand that increasing efficiencies and introducing automation improves customer experience. Our use of data and finances must track those of our hi-tech world. I’m thrilled that SAG-AFTRA will be incorporating direct depositing of residuals, saving millions in postage and labor, but we can and must go further. I’ll press for an option for automatic billing of union dues, electronic sign-outs on sets and sign-ins at auditions, which will also help us better track diversity and ageism in casting. Chair, National Diversity Committee; I’ve served for 15 years on the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee.”

Slavin, running as an independent, said in his statement: “We all have value! For your consideration: Being from the New England local, I know the vicissitudes you face as an actor/actress, in film and television, both as a principal and background performer, and as broadcaster and journalist, stunt performer, voice over artist and recording artist. I believe in our strength to come together with one voice collectively through diversity and selfless service. We are a labor union. We must continue to defend the work we do, and our assets. With your support we will continue to fight relentlessly to protect the value of, and for all members!”

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There’s the Cast.  So Cast!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Matt Loeb Re-Elected IATSE President!

July 20, 2017 (14:13) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

Matt Loeb, running unopposed, was re-elected to a four-year term as president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees today at the union’s 68th Quadrennial Convention in Hollywood, FL. Loeb, who’s been president of IATSE since 2008, hasn’t had to stand for election once in the last 10 years. He was elected without opposition in 2009 at the convention in Orlando, and at the 2013 convention in Boston. In 2008, he was the unanimous choice of the union’s general executive board to succeed Tommy Short upon his retirement.

Also elected without the necessity of a vote were James Wood, the union’s general secretary-treasurer; 13 international vice presidents; and three trustees. All ran unopposed.

The convention had scheduled the election for tomorrow, but it was scrubbed because no challenger emerged. “If there is no election,” the union noted on its website, the convention sill concludes tomorrow at noon local time “and delegate compensation will follow immediately after.”

The convention is largely a rubber stamp and lovefest for the union’s leadership. Yesterday, resolution after resolution was adopted without opposition, including a proposed constitutional amendment that will increase staff salaries and another that will increase the per capita tax local unions have pay the parent union. Appeals from members who have been disciplined were summarily tossed out.

“It is all ass-kissing all the time,” a delegate told Deadline. “It is vomitously repulsive. It’s really horrific. Matt is a good guy, but the whole milieu of constant ass-kissing, with all due respect, is hard to witness. But Matt is very well liked, across the board, even by those who may take umbrage with his policies.”

Gabrielle Carteris

That flattery was in full force yesterday when SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, making a stop on her national tour to sell her union’s new film and TV contract, spoke to the convention. “Members and staff told me about the work that is being done and I could see their joy in what is happening and their belief in the future,” she told the delegates. “And that is the soul of unionism. The energy that fills this convention and the energy that I feel when I’m talking to members around the country, it is exactly what is needed to ignite the labor movement, to rejuvenate it, to make sure that the next generation feels the excitement and understands who we are, who we are and what we can do together.”

Then, speaking directly to Loeb, she said: “I want you to hear, Matt – so I want you to hear some of the things that were said about you: ‘He is a visionary; he has changed so many things; he is an inspiration.’ ”

Speaking about SAG-AFTRA’s recently negotiated film and TV pact, she said: “We have just completed one of the most challenging – and I mean challenging –negotiations our union has seen in over a generation and made gains that speak to the future of our industry. As unionists, you know that making changes on behalf of our members in a time when our employers are not individuals but major conglomerates is hard.”

“My mother used to say to me, ‘It’s the responsibility of every generation to make a difference, to make an impact,’” she continued. “SAG-AFTRA now – I don’t know if you’re aware of this – all three of our officers are women and our member numbers are growing faster than ever before. So, now, today, we are in Day One of our next hundred-plus years. I’m struck by how SAG-AFTRA and IA have areas of tremendous commonality.”

“As we look to understand what is critical for the growth and vitality of the labor movement, our industry and beyond, we will be on this journey together,” she said. “Diversity is a key to that journey. So no matter your political affiliation, we know unions are being attacked in this country. Pension and health is being threatened. And in the face of that, we must tell our own stories. We need to be the ones to lead the narrative. The public needs to understand our value. It’s so critical that we be viewed as relevant by the next generation of workers. We must share who we are and what we do and this speaks to the heart of unionism. I am proud that we can say we are truly stronger together.”

Carteris left the convention yesterday morning and later that evening, at a Holiday Inn a few miles down the road, chaired a membership meeting about the new SAG-AFTRA contract. She’s urging ratification, but the two main opponents to her re-election  – presidential candidates Esai Morales and Peter Antico – are against it. Antico has accused her of campaigning on the union’s dime while visiting locals all around the country in support of the contract. Tonight she’ll be in Boston, and tomorrow in Bethesda, MD, after having already spoken at meetings in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta.

Thomas Schlamme
DGA president Thomas Schlamme


A DGA delegation also addressed the convention, including newly elected DGA president Thomas Schlamme; Russ Hollander, the DGA’s new national executive director, and Jay Roth, the DGA’s longtime former chief executive.

“Labor unions are the driving force for democracy and progress,” Schlamme told the delegates. “It also makes perfect sense to me that the DGA and the IA should be such great partners. It’s pure alchemy to me, the magic created from this partnership. At the very heart of it is this longstanding relationship between the director’s team and the tremendously talented members of the IA.”

“We are only as good as the sum of our parts,” he said. “We also have an obligation to make sure that all of those parts are kept safe. And as those before us have done, we also need to continue to fight every day to make sure our value is recognized and protected; that as the creators of this amazing, unique work, we are appropriately compensated with benefits and pension, safety nets that cushion us from the risks we take as creative workers. The collective gifts of our members, their skills, craftsmanship and commitment to union service are more important now than ever.”

“The relationship between the DGA and the IATSE is an extremely important relationship to the DGA,” Hollander told the delegates. “The bottom line is that the IA members and DGA members together make up the heart of the production unit. It’s our collaboration on the sets of this country and throughout the world that truly drives an industry that creates the world’s finest entertainment, employs hundreds of thousands of people and engages billions around the world.”

“Together the DGA and the IATSE have tackled a number of challenges,” he said. “We fought to keep film and television production thriving in the individual states and provinces where our members live. We fought against Internet theft and waged legislative battles to prevent it. Together there is no limit to what we can accomplish. I look forward to working with you.”

Roth told the delegates: “Whether in D.C. on legislative matters, locally on film incentives, sharing research and thinking about collective bargaining, or dealing with the regular crises that arise in our industry, in production, the IATSE and DGA are regularly – and I mean regularly – communicating and working together.”

“There is little doubt,” he said, “that our unity will enable us to weather and succeed in the trials that have yet to come.”

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Like I always say there is togetherness in unity.  Huh?  Yeah, right…Heavy!



The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Esai Morales Urges ‘No’ Vote on SAG-AFTRA Contract!

July 19, 2017 (22:59) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller



July 19, 2017 | 10:11PM PT

SAG-AFTRA Presidential candidate Esai Morales has urged members of the performers union to vote down the proposed tentative agreement on a new master contract.

Morales contends that the pact, which has been sent out to the 160,000 members for ratification, falls far short of what performers need. Ratification ballots will be counted on Aug. 7.

“The nominal gains in this agreement do not match the cost of living increases in the real world,” Morales said in a video posted Wednesday on the Facebook page of the Membership First faction. “Send them back to the table.”

Morales detailed problems with changes in the travel costs, basic cable, motion-capture and background players asserting that SAG-AFTRA leaders had promised to rectify perceived abuses and have failed to do so.

He also questioned why the union leadership reached a deal at 6 a.m. on July 4, asserting that fatigue may have played a factor in making concessions in the tentative agreement. Morales also said that he did not understand the tactic of promising to seek a strike authorization from members but then never following through — as the Writers Guild of America had done in April prior to reaching its deal.

“Why did they go into negotiations without that authorization in their back pocket?” Morales asked.

Morales and SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer Jane Austin had announced on June 12 that they were running mates on the Membership First ticket, but said that they would not comment on negotiations until a deal was reached. SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers adhered to a news blackout that lasted more than a month.

The union leaders never disclosed the specifics of their proposals except at a closed-door meeting on June 28 in Studio City. The new deal, if ratified, provides for $256 million in increased pay over the three years with minimums increasing by 2.5% in the first year, 3% in the second year, and 3% in the third year. The union has said that the tentative deal includes “significant improvements” in the residuals rate for streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon.

Morales is running against stuntman Peter Antico and SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, who announced on July 12 that she was running for re-election on the Unite for Strength slate. Ballots will go out to union members on July 25 and the results will be announced on Aug. 24.

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More Tempers Flare At SAG-AFTRA Contract Meeting In New York!

July 18, 2017 (14:21) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller