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Sony Hack Delays SAG-AFTRA Residuals!

February 24, 2015 (14:26) | 2014 | By: Arlin Miller

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Threat cartoons, Threat cartoon, funny, Threat picture, Threat ...
February 24, 2015 | 12:18PM PT

In the latest fallout from the massive Sony Pictures cyberhack, the studio has disclosed that SAG-AFTRA actors may not receive residuals checks from Sony projects for several months.

Members of SAG-AFTRA who received residuals within the past 12 months have received notices from their union about the delay. The studio and the union had no further comment.

Sony was hit by the hackers on Nov. 24, a month before the opening of Sony’s comedy “The Interview,” which follows a mission to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Security experts and the White House have asserted that North Korea was behind the attack.

The notice follows:

Dear Member:

Sony Pictures Entertainment has informed SAG-AFTRA that, as a consequence of their recent cyber attack, Sony’s payment of certain categories of residuals may be delayed by one quarter.

You are being notified of this potential delay because SAG-AFTRA’s records show you have received residuals from Sony within the past 12 months. Due to this delay, fourth quarter 2014 residuals and first quarter 2015 residuals from Sony may not be posted to your online SAG-AFTRA Residuals Tracker until after June 1, 2015.”

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Gosh, what a surprise , once again it’s actors that  are going to take it on the chin.


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Equity Proposal to Pay Actors Roils Los Angeles 99-Seat Theater Producers!

February 24, 2015 (02:10) | 2014 | By: Arlin Miller

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Paying minimum wage is a non-starter say producers, many of whom are Equity members.

A proposal by Actors Equity that actors in 99 seat theatre productions in Los Angeles be paid for their work is stirring controversy among producers – and even among Equity members. The seemingly modest requirement – that actors be paid at least the legal minimum wage for rehearsals and performances – generated almost uniform expressions of rage and contempt at an overflow meeting of producers Saturday.

Many of the producers are themselves members of Equity, the union that represents stage actors. But there was no love lost for their union among the 250 or so attendees.

“No amount of cynicism [about the union] is too small,” said one speaker, to thunderous applause. About 75 percent or more of the attendees raised their hands when asked if they were Equity members.

Equity executive director Mary McColl counters that the issue is simply that actors deserve to get paid for their work. “[The proposal] would make it more fair and actually equitable,” she told The Hollywood Reporter, citing a need to value performers.

But the producer’s association – the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles / Intimate – asserts that minimum wage would be a budget buster. If required to pay actors, the organization said in a statement, “the majority of companies operating under today’s 99-seat plan will either close or become non-Equity.”

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“The proposed agreement takes a huge step that is unmanageable for the ecosystem,” said association chair Michael Seel and vice chair Martha Demson in a joint interview. “The move to minimum wage is just untenable,” added Demson.

The association has engaged counsel to challenge the new proposal, alleging that in making the proposal Equity did not follow procedures required by a 1988 settlement agreement that ended an earlier controversy over the Plan and its predecessor, referred to as Equity Waiver. That multi-year conflict, referred to as the Equity Waiver wars, now echo again.

At the producers’ meeting, only one Equity member spoke in favor of the proposal, Ann Colby Stocking. Later, she told THR why she was speaking out, even at perceived risk to her career.

“It’s always bothered me,” she said. “Everyone else gets paid. And actors get nothing except maybe a review and a pat on the back. It’s makes me feel that I’m not valued. And I’m not.”

Equity members are set to vote on an advisory ballot regarding the proposal starting March 25. “I would urge you all to vote no,” said actor Tim Robbins at the meeting. The union’s national council will decide on April 21 whether to accept, modify or reject the proposal.

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Under the current 99 Seat Plan, actors are deemed to be “volunteers” and are paid a stipend, typically $7 – $15 per performance, with no compensation at all for rehearsals, which can be as much as 36 hours per week.

That Plan seems on thin ice legally, since the California labor commissioner takes the position that volunteers can’t be utilized by for-profit enterprises (which some 99 theatre companies are) or even by non-profits that “operate commercial enterprises which serve the general public, such as restaurants or thrift stores.” But it’s unclear whether anyone has ever challenged the existing arrangement.

Even the new proposal would permit some theatre companies to continue to use actors as unpaid volunteers, raising the question of whether those carve outs would survive a legal challenge.

Equity members met Monday afternoon in a closed meeting in Studio City to further debate the proposal.

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jh@jhandel.com


Hey, you got to give it to Ol’ Tim, he ain’t one of them greedy  actors.  He’s willing to let all the money go to the producers!  What was that?  But, but, but……


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Paul Napier, Originator of ‘Mr. Goodwrench,’ Dies at 85.

February 23, 2015 (10:45) | 2014 | By: Arlin Miller

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SAG committee member Paul Napier attends the Screen Actor Guild Awards ...

February 23, 2015 | 10:06AM PT

Paul Napier, who originated the Mr. Goodwrench character for General Motors, has died. He was 85. Details of his death were not immediately available. Napier broke into show business as a hockey announcer and had more than 400 commercial credits along with TV credits on “L.A. Law,” “Taxi,” Coach” and “Dynasty,” on which had a recurring role as a gardener. Napier was also active in the Screen Actors Guild, serving 26 times as a member of a negotiating committee on national contracts, and chaired the L.A. representatives in the commercials contract bargaining in 2009. Napier was also one of the founding members and producers of the SAG Awards show. In 2010, he was selected to receive SAG’s Ralph Morgan Award from its Hollywood Division for service.

Napier was also active in coaching youth sports teams in the Los Angeles area.

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The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
Paul is well known for his many years of service to actors and our guild but I think the following story I posted in 2013 best pays tribute to the man.

Generations of L.A. youth have received his sports wisdom!

18 September, 2013 (20:45) | 2013 | By: Arlin Miller | [e]

Paul Napier

Retired actor Paul Napier — the first Mr. Goodwrench on TV — has been coaching high school and youth sports for decades. And he’s still at it.

“I played him at guard,” Napier explains with a chuckle. “Back then, White was a guard.” Once, when Napier was out of town, one of his assistants cut DeSean Jackson, who could fly like a champagne cork and would go on to soar at California and now with the Philadelphia Eagles. Napier laughs about it now. He laughs about a lot of things that might otherwise do you in — overwrought parents, or the only thing worse, absentee moms and dads. He’s seen a lot in 77 seasons, and the eyes still crinkle at the memories. “Seventy-seven,” he says. “That was Red Grange’s number, you know.” No, actually, I didn’t. But then I’m not 83 years old and still coaching high school and youth sports four or five hours a day, oozing wisdom and keeping things running. For two years he was Mr. Goodwrench, part of a long career as an actor, much of it in commercials. Did a few pilots. Bit parts in “L.A. Law,” “Taxi” and, of course, “Coach.” Had a recurring role as a gardener on “Dynasty.” Once, late on Thanksgiving Eve, everybody tired and wanting to get out of there, Linda Evans kissed him on the forehead for getting a tricky scene right on the first take. Good memories, yet also the sort of career enjoyed by every third stool at a coffee shop near you. It paid the bills. It put three kids through school. It kept the marriage going … 56 years and counting. Fifty-six. Like Lawrence Taylor. That one I know.

What really elevates Napier’s life, what makes him sports’ version of Mr. Holland in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” are the thousands of young lives he’s affected across his decades of coaching.

Sure, one knee gave out already, and the other one is barking, but the competitive zeal and the fire are still there, the steely resolve. And maybe that most valuable tool in Mr. Goodwrench’s belt, composure.

“I try not to be from the yelling school, even though that’s innate with a lot of coaches,” he says. “I try not to criticize a young man in front of his teammates … only praise him.”

Over the years, the challenges have changed, even the kids. But it’s the kids who still make it all worthwhile, the differences you can make.

“We have a lot of kids whose family situation isn’t ideal,” he says of his 9- and 10-year-old players. “We have some kids who don’t have any father figures except for us.”

Then there are the parents who care too much.

“I think more people today see a youngster, if he has any talent at all, as their ticket out,” he says of pushy parents.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Yet Napier pushes on, working with the high school team at Campbell Hall from 4 to 6 p.m. each day, then racing over to Grant High, for the 6 to 8 p.m. Valley Youth Conference practices.

“The Patron Saint of Late Dinners,” his wife Marie calls him.

The patron saint of a lot of things.

What do you glean from 77 seasons? All sorts of old-school stuff, according to his son Scott, head coach at Campbell Hall.

“When he believes a player is dogging it, or feigning an injury or questionably claiming that his equipment is faulty, Dad will say, ‘Son, don’t try to con a con man; I’ve heard and seen it all,’” Scott Napier says. “He’ll tell them, ‘I was coaching football before your parents were born and was playing the game before your grandparents were born. And may have dated your great-grandmother.’”

That’s not to say he hasn’t mellowed in his older years.

“I don’t think [Vince] Lombardi would do as well these days,” he says of coaches who are too rigid.

Some day, there needs to be a place — sponsored by Nike, or Gatorade, or a consortium of pro leagues — where coaches like Napier can give workshops for other coaches, the young guys who have been at it only 10 or 20 years, relative newcomers, sharing wit and wisdom and a sensible approach to the often nonsensical world of youth sports.

Soon as that happens, it won’t be soon enough.



The great thing about Mr. Napier is that he knows when to play ball!  Admirably he plays ball with LA youth.  As a SAG member, even more admirably, he refuses to do so with those board members who are selling us out to our employers.  Way to go Paul!  Ah, I mean Coach!!!!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Tonight’s The Night!

February 22, 2015 (11:31) | 2014 | By: Arlin Miller

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Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), the Irish dramatist, novelist and poet, who ...Oscar Levant

“Enjoy The Show and Stay Dry.”


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog



‘Midnight Rider’ Still Photographer Files Latest Civil Suit Against Filmmakers!

February 18, 2015 (18:17) | 2014 | By: Arlin Miller

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If none of that works, you could always join the flood of lawsuits.

EXCLUSIVE: A still photographer injured on the set of Midnight Rider in the February 20 accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones has filed a negligence lawsuit against the film’s director Randall Miller, producers and several others involved in the ill-fated production. Izabeau Giannakopoulos was shooting photos on the first day of filming in rural Wayne County, GA and was one of six crew members injured when a freight train roared across a railroad trestle on which they were filming.

This is the third civil suit filed against the film’s producers. Hair stylist Joyce Gillard filed suit for injuries she suffered that day, and Jones’ parents filed a wrongful death suit that was subsequently settled.

Giannakopoulos’ attorney, Michael Weiss, said his client suffered “serious injuries” on the trestle that day. “She was seriously injured in the back and neck, and is unable to continue working and is still recovering from her injuries,” he said. The suit, filed Tuesday in Georgia’s State Court of Chatham County, seeks unspecified damages.

Defendants named in the suit include Miller, producer Jody Savin, production manager Jay Sedrich and assistant director Hillary Schwartz. All will be standing trial on criminal manslaughter charges next month in connection with Jones’ death.