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UPDATE: SAG-AFTRA Executive’s Daughter Returns Home Safely!

November 24, 2015 (23:40) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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UPDATE 11:16 PM: SAG-AFTRA Spokeswoman Pamela Greenwalt tells Deadline that Reyna Danielle Johnson-Calderon, the 21-year-old daughter of SAG-AFTRA executive Anna Calderon who has been missing since Friday, has returned home safely. No further information is available at this time.

Original Article

Los Angeles police are asking for the public’s help in finding Reyna Danielle Johnson-Calderon, who was reported missing Monday after leaving her home in Sherman Oaks about 9 AM Friday. The daughter of SAG-AFTRA executive Anna Calderon left without telling anyone and also left behind her car, purse, keys, phone and ID.

Johnson-Calderon is bipolar, and her family said she recently had made remarks about hurting herself.

The missing woman, whose photo is above, is described as African-American with brown hair and brown eyes. She stands 5-foot-6 and weighs about 130 pounds. Her mother is SAG-AFTRA’s National Director of News and Broadcast for Southern California.

The LAPD urges anyone with information regarding Johnson-Calderon’s whereabouts to contact Detective Martinez at (818) 374-0080. During non-business hours or on weekends and holidays, the number is 877-527-3247. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can reach Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477).

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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Thank You David for the perfect Thanksgiving Story


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog



Seth MacFarlane on WGA Award: ‘I Am a Firm Advocate of the Power of Unions!

November 20, 2015 (15:51) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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 Union power! | Trade Unions | Pinterest

November 20, 2015 | 01:23PM PT

Naturally, there were a lot of jokes as Seth MacFarlane accepted a lifetime achievement award from the WGA’s Animation Writers Caucus Thursday at the Writers Guild Theater, but he also offered some serious comments about the guild and the status of writers. “I am a firm advocate of the power of unions,” said MacFarlane. “The WGA and all the guilds remain among the most important powers in this industry as the studios and their parents get more and more monolithic, the necessity of unions like this becomes ever more obvious.”

David Goodman, VP of the WGA West, noted in his intro that MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” make him the employer with the most writers under the animation contract.

Patrick Stewart followed with a quip-filled presentation, opening by saying, “Oh my God, I’m over-dressed. I never thought I’d be in a room nerdier than a Star Trek convention.”

Stewart voices Avery Bullock on “American Dad” and stars in “Blunt Talk,” which MacFarlane exec produces. He traced back MacFarlane’s history to 1998.

“‘The Simpsons’ was in year three of its record-breaking 19-year-slide,” he recalled. “In an act of blatant desperation, Fox took a chance on a 24-year-old Seth MacFarlane who would eventaully would delivery a dazzling array of shows about bumbling dads, their hot wives and a talking animal.”

Stewart credited MacFarlane with broadening his career: “He changed my life and the world of humor opened up for me in a way it never had before, so I am personally most grateful for that. However, it is a little creepy knowing he has so many dolls of me.”

Stewart concluded on a serious note: “It is his talent as a writer that this award celebrates. Funny pictures will make us look and funny voices will make us laugh, but it is the writing underneath that distinguishes and elevates truly distinguished work.”

MacFarlane said in his acceptance that he’s stunned by the 14-season run of “Family Guy.”

“Never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine it would go this long. We used to get in the room and talk about dating and now it is 100 percent about colonoscopies.”

He also joked about the WGA — “When the guild called me, my first reaction was ‘how late are my dues?’” and “You can tell it’s an animation award because the invitation said black sneaker. I’m not sure who votes but I’ll tell you this trophy is going to be in my car for a long time.”

MacFarlane concluded by crediting those around him. “All I’ve done to deserve this is to surround myself with people who are smarter than me and make me look good and I’ll see you at the next strike.”

About 200 members of the guild attend the ceremonies for the award.


Unfortunately, a union is only as good as it’s leadership.  And to be honest thanks to SAG-AFTRA’s current leaders it’s a little uncomfortable here in our employers back pockets!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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(UPDATED: Media Response) Attention Los Angeles Members!

November 17, 2015 (21:19) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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The following email was received from SAG-AFTRA:

The most recent set of benefit changes announced by the SAG-Producers Health Plan have prompted a number of questions from members. To provide an opportunity for the Plans to further explain these changes to interested members, SAG-AFTRA will host a conversation with SAG-Producers Health Plan staff to discuss these and other issues related to the state of health care in our industry and the impact on the Plan and its participants.

The meeting will take place this Monday at SAG-AFTRA Plaza. We will also host a second meeting in December for those who are unable to attend this discussion. Details about the second meeting will be announced in a separate notice.

Please note that the topic of this meeting is only about the current SAG-Producers Health Plan.

When: 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23

Where: James Cagney Boardroom


5757 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Parking will be validated.

RSVP online by clicking here.

For questions about this event, please email la@sagaftra.org or call (323) 549-6459.

This meeting is only open to paid-up SAG-AFTRA members in good standing. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of younger performers under 18 years old are welcome. No RSVP necessary. SAG-AFTRA MEMBERS, PLEASE BRING YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD (paid through Oct. 31, 2015 or April 30, 2016) FOR ADMITTANCE.


Bring your own shovels!  And hip boots!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Photo selected by Watchdog.

For one media response, This from respected reporter Dave McNary:

SAG Health Plan Sets Member Meetings Following Protests!
November 17, 2015 | 06:54PM PT
Dave McNary
Film Reporter@Variety_DMcNary

In an extraordinary move, the SAG-Producers Health Plan has scheduled two meetings about plan changes that have provoked strong negative reactions among those taking early retirement.

SAG-AFTRA members received notification that a Nov. 23 meeting would be held at union headquarters in Los Angeles for the plan staff to “further explain” the changes and other issues related to health care. Another meeting will be held in December.

High-profile national board members Frances Fisher and Patricia Richardson launched a protest last month to the trustees’ decision for the plan — overseen by reps of the performers union and management — to eliminate the self-pay option for health insurance premiums for members who have taken early retirement. That decision, announced in October, will go into effect at the end of the year.

The plan, which covers about 40,000 members and dependents, has asserted that the self-pay option was no longer necessary because of the availability of “high-quality, affordable coverage” through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Currently, self-pay coverage ranges from $492 to $584 monthly for an individual and $1,348 to $1,596 monthly for an individual plus two dependents.

Zane Lasky, a 40-year member with credits dating back to “The Tony Randall Show,” told Variety that members were given no warning about the change — making it difficult to find alternate coverage by the end of the year. “How this has been handled is unconscionable,” he added.

Fisher noted that hundreds of SAG performers opted for early retirement and accepted less money from their pension plan partly because they were assured they would be able to self-pay for health insurance between the ages of 55-65. Fisher asserted that the high cost of living in California and New York and limits on subsidies have impaired the ability of members to find new insurance.

A spokeswoman for the plan has not responded to requests for comment.

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Former Executive with Screen Actors Guild Pension Plan Pleads Guilty to Tax Charge Stemming for Failing to Report Income

November 16, 2015 (12:55) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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Friday, November 13, 2015

LOS ANGELES – The former chief information officer for the Screen Actors Guild’s Producers Pension and Health Plan (PPHP) has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in which he failed to report income he received from contractors hired to upgrade the PPHP computer system.

Nader Karimi, 51, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to one felony count of subscribing to a false tax return.

When he pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin, Karimi admitted lying on his 2008 federal tax return that failed to report $454,666 in income. Over the course of the years 2005 through 2008, Karimi failed to report a total of approximately $711,000 in taxable income, according to his plea agreement.

Karimi was responsible for modernizing PPHP’s computer systems, and in that capacity he had the authority to enter into contracts on behalf of PPHP. Over a four-year period, Karimi entered into agreements with vendors that agreed to pay a portion of the money they received from PPHP to a company affiliated with Karimi, Enterprise Technology and Management Services. The payments to ETMS totaled $711,000, and Karimi used the sums for personal expenses while not declaring them as income on his tax returns.

“Individuals entrusted with the pension and health care funds of others must be held to the highest standard of conduct,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker.  “The Department of Justice will do everything within its power to bring to justice those who abuse a position of trust for personal gain.”

Judge Olguin is scheduled to sentence Karimi on March 11, 2016, at which time he faces a statutory maximum of three years in federal prison.

Karimi has agreed to file amended tax returns, pay back taxes, and make an additional restitution payment of at least $100,000 to PPHP.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the FBI.

Hmmm….maybe these guys can check on why I’m heading for my third month without  recieving my AFTRA pension check!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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**Happy birthday to Ed Asner! (11/16/2015)



Happy Veterans Day!

November 10, 2015 (21:05) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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... limiting the veterans day holiday to veterans will save our nation

Thank You!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog