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A Sad Goodbye

April 17, 2018 (21:53) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

Image result for Barbara Bush 1925-2018 photos

Dear Mrs. Bush on behalf of my fellow SAG/AFTRA members thank you for your service to our great country.
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog




April Tools Day!

April 16, 2018 (22:39) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller


Nail Getting Hammered Image | Animation Factory


Come on, you saw it Coming!  You  knew you were gonna be nailed!  Okay,  but, but. but…wait till you get home to get hammered!

Yep!  It’s April 17th Final Day to pay your income taxes!!

But, but, but,again!  Hey, Look 0n the bright side. According to the Prez, next year the tax form will only be one page long.  In fact,  the Ol’ SAG Watchdog has learned it’s exact wording.


How much did you make?
Please enclose  that amount!

Image result for clinking glasses animated



Celebrating the Life of Eugene Francis

April 13, 2018 (14:44) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller


The Following from the SAG-AFTRA Website:

Celebrating the Life of Eugene Francis
April 13, 2018, 12:04pm

Actor, Writer & Founding SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board Member Died Tuesday at 100 Years Old

Actor, writer and founding board member of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, now SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Eugene Francis passed away on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 100 years old. Francis worked on TV series such as Matinee Theatre (1955), The George Sanders Mystery Theater (1957) and The Loretta Young Show (1953), and was also one of the original “Dead End/East Side Kids” with Bobby Jordan and Leo Gorcey.

Francis was elected as a founding board member of the Foundation in 1985, serving for 33 years as a board member up until his passing. He served in the role of Treasurer of the Board, member of the Finance Committee and continued as an active board and finance committee member even in his role of Emeritus Board Member, attending board and committee meetings by Skype and phone when he could not attend in person.

Francis’ passion for children’s literacy, growth in performers’ programming and scholarships, and establishment of the Foundation’s Robin Williams Center in the heart of the theater district in New York, contributed to the evolution of the Foundation. Francis attended the opening of the Robin Williams Center in October 2016.

“It was a privilege to know someone who had lived life so fully long before I met him and to work with him over these many years as he continued supporting his fellow performers. Gene truly never stopped,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation Treasurer and fellow founding board member Maureen Donnelly.

Francis’ career as an actor, writer and activist for performing artists goes back to the days of AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists) and the Television Authority, which merged to become AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). Francis served more than two decades as a SAG National and New York Board member, and was elected to terms as recording secretary and national vice president. He lived and worked to see his unions merge as SAG-AFTRA in 2012 and its Foundations to become the SAG-AFTRA Foundation in 2015. He also saw service as a member of the Council of the Actors’ Equity Association.

“He loved his fellow actors and dedicated many, many hours of his life to performing artists everywhere,” said son Stephen Francis.

Francis served in World War II and is survived by his son, daughter-in-law Bronwyn Berry and grandchildren Harrison and Carson Francis.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to support Francis’ commitment to the lives and livelihoods of performing artists. Donate online at www.sagaftra.foundation/donate or mail to SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Attn: Nicholas Hass, Institutional Giving Manager, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. PH-1, Los Angeles, CA, 90036

Thank you Mr. Francis!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline Photo from SAG/AFTRA Website




(Update an Added Take) SAG-AFTRA Bans Auditions In Hotel Rooms And Residences

April 12, 2018 (10:48) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller




Image result for Room service photos

by David Robb
April 12, 2018 9:4

SAG-AFTRA has called for a ban on auditions in hotel rooms and residences, where many reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault have occurred. “We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in announcing the movie today.

The ban on such meetings – called Guideline No. 1 – is the first expansion of the Code of Conduct the union released in February as part of its Four Pillars of Change initiative to confront sexual harassment in the workplace.

The new guideline calls on producers and other decision-makers “to refrain from holding professional meetings in hotel rooms and private residences,” and urges members and their representatives “not to agree to professional meetings in these high-risk locations.” The guild said that “in the rare event that there is no reasonable alternative to having the meeting in such a location, Guideline No. 1 establishes the concept of a ‘Support Peer’ to accompany the member during the meeting.”

The guild said this new rule “is equally applicable to SAG-AFTRA members when acting in the capacity of a producer or decision-maker with influence or control over decisions that can impact another’s career. All professionals, including SAG-AFTRA members, are expected to refrain from engaging in harassing conduct and support efforts to eliminate this scourge from the workplace.”

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Hmmm…so Room Service would only apply in the traditional sense!



The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline photo selected by the Watchdog

An Added Take:

SAG-AFTRA Moves to End Business Meetings in Private Hotel Rooms

11:53 AM PDT 4/12/2018 by Jonathan Handel


Hollywood Reporter

The union calls for an end to meetings in “high-risk locations.”

A once- and perhaps still-common industry practice came under fire from performers’ union SAG-AFTRA Thursday, as it issued a guideline calling for the industry to “put an end to high-risk locations for professional meetings,” specifically including private hotel rooms and residences.

The document, the first in a planned series, is titled “No Auditions or Interviews in Private Hotel Rooms or Residences,” and observes that “misconduct … often occurs outside of the formal workplace setting.” It calls on producers and others to stop holding meetings in “these high-risk locations” and on SAG-AFTRA members and their representatives to stop agreeing to professional meetings in such locations.

“We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting,” said union president Gabrielle Carteris.

Calling the practice “antiquated and typically unnecessary,” the guideline also says that “in the unlikely event that there is no reasonable alternative forum for a professional meeting,” the actor or actress should bring a “support peer” to the meeting and that person should be allowed to maintain physical access to the union member.

The Writers Guild of America, West, and the Anita Hill led industrywide Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace issued statements of support for the Guideline.

“The Commission applauds SAG-AFTRA’s recently issued Guideline No. 1,” said Hill in a statement. “The implementation of this guideline marks an important first step in communicating appropriate industry standards for professional practices. This is exactly the kind of action the Commission encourages as part of our ongoing effort to introduce systemic changes that create safer, fairer and more equitable workspaces throughout the industry. We call on other stakeholders to support SAG-AFTRA’s effort and encourage them to adopt similar guidelines within their own institutions.”

The union noted in a statement that the guideline is also applicable when a SAG-AFTRA member is a producer.

The guideline was developed, the union said, after hearing from members around the country and from a broad range of experts and industry stakeholders. SAG-AFTRA is working on other guidelines as well, with one expected to address nudity and simulated nudity in productions. The intent is to grapple with scenarios that are unique to the entertainment industry and that present heightened risks of sexual harassment or related exploitation.

The guidelines are offshoots of the union’s Code of Conduct on sexual harassment, which it issued in early February. Numerous other guilds and industry organizations in the US, Canada and UK have issued such codes in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that erupted in October and the ensuing #MeToo and Times Up movements seeking to end sexual harassment across the entertainment, media and related industries. SAG-AFTRA’s real-world guidelines appear to be unique, however.




A Heads-up to Union V/O Actors!

April 11, 2018 (14:49) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller



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The following from  LA UNION V.O. ACTOR  April 11 at 8:04am

Hi all!

So this is an awkward as well as distressing post. Take from it what you will. I certainly cannot tell anyone what to do when it comes to your career. But I just have to give my 2 cents. And know this is just coming from me, and in no way am I speaking on behalf of the union or any union committee. This is a tad long, but please take the time to read.

There’s an audition going around which for some may be due today. It’s for a new online Woody Woodpecker cartoon. They are offering $500 per episode. THIS IS ALMOST 50% LESS THAN TV/BASIC CABLE ANIMATION SCALE!

How can they do this? Well, because when it comes to the union new media contract, they can pay us anything they want as long as we say yes.

I am beyond in the trenches in our vo industry, both the union and non union community. The non union actor, and in particular their agents, have been aggressively fighting lowball offers. Those agents have banned together, refusing to even offer their talent auditions they feel will only perpetuate the bottom feeding of the vo industry. They know that the only way to fight this is to take a stand. And, they have been beyond successful! Often they are more organized than we are.

I told my agent I will not read for this WW cartoon. I know it only takes one person to say yes and ruin the fight for everyone. And again, I cannot tell anyone what to do. But I also cannot perpetuate this trend.

I predict these fees will only get worse and worse if we, the actors, do not take a stand. New media is the wild west. I know many will feel this WW cartoon, at any price, is a great opportunity. From a career standpoint, perhaps it is. It certainly gives the opportunity to work on a classic franchise and develop new relationships with other creatives. But it will be done at the expense of your fellow actors, and it will continue the erosion of what we have always considered fair/scale animation wages.

The argument I’ve heard in favor of this rate is that this is “just for 5 minute YouTube shorts.” Do you realize how huge this audience is? Gang, 30 years ago when our animation community tried to fight cable animation rates, which were a fraction of what we got with network Saturday morning animation, we were told, “this is just for cable, not for network” which was their way to pacify us as we will still get network residuals on Saturday morning animation.

This was JUST before the networks ceased production on Saturday morning animation. Everything went to cable.

We are now seeing everything going from cable to online/new media.

What can be done? Again, this is a hard fight. I see everyday the power of an animation cast being taken away because just one cast member agreed to a low ball offer, ruining it for the rest, taking away the cast’s leverage to fight for a better deal.

Speak to your agents. “No” is the most empowering word an actor has. That one “yes” taints it for all. My intention is not to judge. It’s to educate. Talk to your agents. If enough of us say no, they will up the offer. The least they can do is offer us current scale animation rates!



Low Ball, NO BALLS! And You…?


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline Photo selected by Watchdog