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In a video, Ed Harris speaks out against SAG’s new leaderships vicious email.

May 27, 2009 (19:08) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

Also “Leave it to Beavers” Lumpy and Eddie Haskell have their own video on why you should vote NO

First here is Mr. Harris.

Direct Link to YouTube [n_pyw4eBfeY]

Now two of my favorites from “Leave it to Beaver”” Lumpy and Eddie Haskell.


We’ll the Baghead’s at, the anonymously run website, “SAG Watch” (One the Rhine) have stated the Ol’ Dog is the mouthpiece for Membership First.

Of course, I am the spokesman for no one but myself. But then, I would rather be a spokesperson for a group that is against allowing signatories to do non-union work and giving up residuals on the Internet than what they are–sycophants for the AMPTP.

But then no one knows who they are, except that they are cowering cowards who attack others under the cloak of anonymity. Are they on the payroll of AFTRA or the AMPTP? Who knows since they refuse to identify themselves!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !



Official SAG email claims that President Rosenberg, Martin Sheen and anyone else that is not in favor of the TV/Theatrical “Deal,” is trying to bring down the union.

May 26, 2009 (19:08) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

In a move that can only be described as the most egregious in SAG History, the current controlling USAN/UFS New York and the Branches board majority has used members dues money, and membership list, to send out an email that for all practical purposes has labeled our SAG President Alan Rosenberg, First Vice President Anne-Marie Johnson and Treasurer Connie Stevens and the overwhelming majority of the Hollywood Board as SAG traitors.

Here is what the shameful, attack ‘Vote Yes’ email said:

Don’t be Tricked into Voting Against TV/Theatrical Contract: Some members are trying to take our union down and continue to circulate misinformation about our tentative agreement. Don’t be fooled into voting down a good deal, with real gains for actors.

Inherit in this accusation is that, SAG Members like Martin Sheen, “Ralph Morgan Award” Winners Kent McCord and Scott Wilson, former SAG president Ed Asner, and hundreds of other loyal members are traitors to the Screen Actors Guild.

Yes, just because SAG members have taken it upon themselves to speak out against the current TV/Theatrical ‘deal,’ the controlling board majority, (mostly made up of New York and Branch USAN board members–along with a handful of UFS board members) have taken it upon themselves to use SAG money dues money, and email list, to officially accuse such loyal SAG members as Tony Danza, Tom Bower, John Heard, Kevin Dobson, Terry Moore, Billy Mumy, Clancy Brown–and anyone else who opposes this contract, of giveaways, as SAG traitors trying to bring down the union.

Who are those behind this official SAG email? They are New York’s USAN and Branches majority along with the Unite for Strength board members.

Remember these faces, they are the ones that pulled the coup of our union, replacing a fairly proportioned negotiating team, that was formed under the Constitutional rules of procedure, and replaced it with a disproportionately formulated “Task Force” to give a dominate say in negotiations to New York and the Branches—even though they only do twenty-five percent of the TV.Theatrical work.

They are the faces of SAG board members who fired former NED Doug Allen to stop him from sending out a strike authorization so that members would have a voice in their negotiations.

And these are the faces of just some of the USAN/UFS board members that are using SAG resources to smear anyone including YOU if you get in the way of their AMPTP friendly ‘deal.”

They were, of course, aided by the board majority made up of New York and Branches, USAN board members and UFS Hollywood board members; All share responsibility in this Divisive, repulsive act. But then, why should we be surprised, after all, many are the same members who supported Melissa Gilbert when she labeled those who disagreed with her and her gang, as “Embedded Union Busters,” The same gang that stood behind board member Mike Farrell when he used the SAG Actor magazine to call his SAG opponents “creations” and “misanthropes.”

Every SAG board member involved in this unsavory business should be brought up on “Charges Unbecoming a Member.” Hey, if using membership dues money to charge 47 percent of our SAG board and hundreds of members with trying to bring down the Screen Actors Guild is not conduct unbecoming a member–NOTHING IS!

Also, there are rumbles of a lawsuit to be brought against those board members responsible for this egregious act of defaming so many of our SAG members. Oh, and if they think they are, necessarily, indemnified by SAG, and that they are free of liability, perhaps they should read the Labor Disclosure Act of 1959. Title V, (Judiciary Responsibility;

A general exculpatory provision in the constitution and bylaws of such a labor organization or a general exculpatory resolution of a governing body purporting to relieve any such person of liability for breach of the duties declared by this section shall be void as against public policy.

Of course, they’ll try to wiggle out of this by saying, but, but we only said “some of the members” are trying to bring the union down–THEN THEY SHOULD IDENTIFY WHO THOSE MEMBERS ARE!

Otherwise, it is clear they used the word “some” as a bogus ‘qualifier’ in order to smear every SAG member, who dared to disagree with them, using the same brush.

That they sent out this vicious email at this stage of the game, several days after the ballots have been sent out, is obviously an act of desperation on their part.

You see, it is no secret, among those in the know that SAG National Executive Directors can track voting on referendums; CEO Bob Pisano did it all the time. This attack email is just one sign that they are beginning to sweat it.

Oh, did we mention that they now have Robo-Calls going out with Adam Arkin and Amy Brennerman telling members to vote for this contract. Perfect, most of these people are well suited to be Telemarketers.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

In light of the current, perverted ‘Vote YES’ email from the Current USAN/UFS leadership, this quote credited to Melisa Gilbert has got to be the funniest quote of the week:

“I’m still amazed and shocked at the level of vitriol among the opponents of this deal. I should not be surprised, but I am. There’s no room for dissent.”




Memorial Day: A day of reflection.

May 25, 2009 (19:08) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

Thank You.

A.L. Miller



Watchdog Exclusive report from inside The SAG Townhall meeting. You’ll hear comments like “This deal sucks,” and “It’s crap!”

May 24, 2009 (19:08) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

and that was just from SAG’s Interim NED David White. (Also we’ll clarify the lies being told about SAG board member Seymour Cassel.) Okay let’s set the scene inside the meeting room: On the dais was SAG Secretary/Treasurer Connie Stevens, chief negotiator John McGuire, White, SAG 1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson (who chaired the meeting), Unite for Strength leader Ned Vaughn, UFS-er Stacey Travis, General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and Ray Rodriguez, SAG’s deputy national director of contracts.

There were about 500 hundred members in attendance.

By the time the Ol’ Dog arrived, Anne-Marie Johnson was just setting the ground rules for the question and answer period. As a chairperson, Ms. Johnson demeanor reminded me of what boxing referee Joe Cortez says to the combatants before the fight begins. “I’m firm but I’m fair!” And I believe she was.

Now, I ain’t gonna go in any particular order here but will do my best to give you and idea of what was said, my impressions, and the general fell of what was going on in the room.

First of all considering the emotions on both sides in the room, I felt the crowd was very well restrained, a little rowdy at times but for the most part very well behaved.

First of all considering the emotions on both sides in the room concerning this contract, I felt the crowd was very well restrained, a little rowdy at time but most part very well behaved.

Now the questions and answers along with the statements.

One person at the mike asked NED White that by accepting this contract wouldn’t we be granting AMPTP a free pass on the Internet

David White responded that the real issue is can you change a template that was set by the DGA, accepted by the WGA after a 100 day strike, and agreed upon by AFTRA. He continued that the question is “what can we do to change something that? He went on that part of negotiations is understanding where your leverage is–and a strategy to use that leverage and getting what you can.

I wanted to yell out, “Hello, how could we have any leverage when you and the new USAN/UFS leadership wouldn’t let us vote on a strike authorization.” But, but, luckily I didn’t, Anne-Marie would have kicked my butt out of there in a USAN minute.

Another speaker at the mike said to Mr. White: You said this deal sucks and later said you were in favor of it. He then said that he’d Like to know what happened in that period between when he thought the deal sucked and thendecided the deal didn’t suck anymore? “Where did we go from suck-age to non-suck-age, he asked?

White admitted that he did say in the boardroom “This deal sucksI did have couple of people say you’re going to regret that” He then added, “I still think there are elements of this deal that are crap.” (Loud applause) He went on to try and qualify his statement by adding that that there are elements of most deals that are crap. He said that he believed his statement was taken out of context. (Loud disagreement “No!”)

It is a tad hard to imagine though how the statement “This deal sucks!” could be taken out of context. Now if during the plenary he was singing the praises of the deal and, say, Seymour got him in a headlock and asked him what he thought of about the deal, ,and he then cried out “This deal sucks!” one could say it was taken out context.

Otherwise, I don’t buy it!

In talking about the rollbacks, President Rosenberg stated that there where certain things in the contract we would be giving up that we’d never get back. He then asked David White if he thought that we’d ever get back the elements of Force Majeure that we gave up.

White after a long pause said he didn’t know then added there’s a false dynamic that staff and the majority of the board thinks that every element of this contract is great deal. In reality they believe we should vote this contract up because it will be a foundation for the next negotiations. (Derisive response) He went on to say we got what we could.

Another actress at the microphone noted that whatever we initially negotiate with employers, we are stuck with it. She went on to say how important residuals were to her, and she wanted to know why we were signing off on this crappy contract.

One actor at the microphone said he was not happy with the 25 dollar buyout for reruns on the internet. Explaining that was why he was struggling now; none of his primetime shows reran on the network. He said because this he worried about his young autistic son’s insurance. Insurance he had not had to worry about for the last decade–but now he did. It was his opinion that actors needed to be looked out for– and in this contract they were not so the contract needed to go away until it addressed things that will make peoples lives Better! Lamenting at the end that end that the revenue streams that we depended upon are going away.

So, if we do go on a long strikea 6-month strike, what would be the cost of a strike?

Alan responded that if the contract fails, we should go back to AMPTP–and if they don’t sweeten the deal then we should get a strike authorization. He said he thought we should have gotten one a long time ago. (Cheers))

As to the cost of the strike in 2000, John McGuire said it cost the union over 2 million dollars. (What he didn’t mention is that according to a study done by SAG and employers we made $300 million dollars more in 2007 than we would have made if we hadn’t gone on strike and instead had accepted the JPC deal.)

There’s been a lot of controversy, and lies, about a particular line Seymour Cassel uttered while at the mike. Here it is verbatim: “I think we should vote no, and it happened ten years ago when “Little Miss What’s her name had the presidency.” More on this later in this piece.

Another actor wanted to know how many series regulars had SAG contacted before they gave up two thirds of their force Majeure money to make this deal. He went on to say it is indefensible for you to give up money that is not yours.

The response was about twenty. Hardly acceptable in that 500 actors were shortchanged in the “deal.”

A question was asked what effect the contracts sunset clause would have. After a long pause. The response from the dais was that meant at the end of the contract, it would have to be negotiated. President Rosenberg said he asked a AMPTP negotiator if they would seriously renegotiate the terms of new media. The negotiator responded something along the lines of “That depends on what you’ll give us in return.

In talking about the fact that our senior members will get no residuals for TV content made BEFORE 1974 and features before 1971 on places like Hulu and others, Ned Vaughn explained that well, gosh folks, sacrifices had to made to get a “deal.”

President Rosenberg responded to himand you are comfortable with sacrificing these members who have been sacrificed so many before.

Ned a member of the New York/USA Task Farce, who had tried to interrupt Alan, and was silenced by Anne-Marie, finally said that he didn’t say he was comfortablewe can only do the best we canwe can only do what we put ourselves in a position to accomplish (I wanted to yell out and what position did you put us in when you and your pals did everything in your power to successfully make sure that you went into negotiations without a strike authorization) Even though I didn’t call out, he seemed to get lost at that point..and then added ah, that he knew members like Paul Peterson and Melissa Gilbert who performed as children and may be looking at these exclusions.

Not to worry about Melissa, Ned, I don’t think she has to worry about the exclusion of TV residuals for shows produced before 1974. . I really don’t think that dear Melissa is going to suffer that much in that here first important TV gig was in 1974’s “Little House on The prairie,” so all of her “Little House on the prairie” reruns will pay residuals on the Internet.

Speaking of Melissa in what can only be reported as, not only, sloppy but irresponsible reporting. Entertainment Lawyer and Blogger, Jonathan Handel erroneously reported that Seymour Cassel was ejected from the meeting for either calling Melissa a “Bitch or a Whore” during his turn at the microphone.. And his story was picked up by the anonymous Baghead site of “The Drizzlers” SAG (Watch On the Rhine.) They route it through Germany so no one can trace their identity. These poor cowering souls spend more time correcting their erroneous articles than writing new ones.

To his credit Mr. Handel finally made corrections after hearing from Ann Marie Johnson stating that she had not ejected Seymour for any comments made about Melissa. To his discredit, he never publicly apologized to Seymour for a comment that could be detrimental to his career.

Once again The Old Dog can unequivocally state that what Seymour actually said was this. “I think we should vote no, and it happened ten years ago when “Little Miss What’s Her Name had the presidency.”

How does the Old Dog know this? I’ll just say the cell phone is a wonderful gadget. If you don’t believe me, ask Kramer. For another, well, let’s just say, I know it for the same reason that I know AFTRA sanctions its members working PSA’s for absolutely NOTHING. You see it’s a waiver where the members signs away their session fees —–and then AFTRA takes the money and gives it to the charity of AFTRA’s choice. More on that soon.

Another member brought up the fact that before David White became Interim NED, he had the AMPTP as a client. Mr. White gave a response that was punctuated with the statement, “That the AMPTP was not a client.” No, Mr. White did not have the AMPTP as a client. He had the MPAA as a client. For all practical purposes, they serve the same masters–and are, in fact located at the same headquarters. One might say this was a case of “lying by omission.”

Actor and vote NO advocate, Dave Clennon made a statement for the undecided in which he repeated several times receiving an enthusiastic response, “You have nothing to lose by voting NO!” The he modified his statement with “You have a lot less to lose by voting no and working under our current contract–than you do by voting yes and locking all of us in to a contract that is described “As the best that we can do!” He continued; now if your are not sure, or you’re confused, I say it again “You have nothing to lose by voting NO!”

Later, another member disagreed with David Clennon, and said we do have something to lose by voting no. We lose a lot of opportunities to negotiate a new deal we lost opportunity after the writers strike, and one after AFTRA got their deal, after the economic meltdown to get a deal. It was her contention that if the deal is voted down, it meant we’d be three raises behind AFTRA! She explained that the majority of the income from traditional work for now, but that eventually new media would come, but it is not there yet. She said for right now we had to get a raise and pension and healththerefore she felt we had a lot to lose from voting NO. (She got the loudest applause from the vote YES contingent.)

Although the speaker was sincere, and I imagine her reasoning is reflective of those who will vote yes, it certainly is not based on any historical precedent, and is in fact contrary to such precedent. Although, impassioned, it is in denial of the accelerated expansion of the Internet as a delivery system of entertainment content.

When actor and Ralph Morgan award winner Scott Wilson, who has been at the forefront of speaking against this inferior contract, stepped up to the microphone and stated his name, there was an outburst of appreciative applause.

Scott said he wondered what the founding fathers of SAG would say if they knew we were being asked to approve of non-union work. He went on to say that he found it absolutely stunning–and he wondered what they would think if they knew Hollywood had been disenfranchised and dictated to by New York and the branches.

Scott also said it was also stunning to him that we have a constitution that allows New York and the branches to have committees made up of members they want to represent them–but that “doesn’t apply to Hollywood where 70 % of the membership is and 70 % of the money is made.”

He repeated it was stunning to him what was going on. Scott said it is time for the members of the Screen Actors Guild who want to have the ability to make a living–to stand up. He reminded members that we would lose between $200 to 400 hundred million dollars in Moveover and streaming on the Internet and that meant members would be losing a corresponding amount of money on their pension and health benefits, and therefore thousands of our members would lose their Health coverage. And he ended by say “that pisses me off!

He walked away from the microphone to thunderous applause.

During the session President Rosenberg was asked if it was ‘okay’ to accept a rollback contract NOW in an exchange of the hope that the other unions will negotiate with us at the end of the contractand do we have an agreement with them before hand. Alan responded NO we certainly have no such agreement. And his further comments didn’t give any hope that things would unfold any differently in SAG’s next negotiations because the AMPTP holds on to their divisive pattern with a clenched fist.

Former SAG President Ed Asner, pulled no punches: He said that management is making huge profits across the board and the added mockingly, “And this is not the time to strike?” “Well, when then, when they’re losing money?”

In regards to a remark earlier about how the public would feel about us if we went on a strike, Mr. Asner told members not to worry about the public. “They will never like you,” he said. So, forget about it! You are never going to be loved. He talked about how producerslike Iger, said their would be no strike; and how Peter Chernin said “this will be the end of residuals” Then told how producers got their ‘puppet actors’ to put their ad in the papers . “Sally field’s shot her big mouth off.” He emphasized that we are dealing with collusion, management, the big agencies talking to their people, feeding themAFTRA finally got their ducks in a row so, they could STAB us in the backNew York and the branches have taken this union away from you. Speaking directly toward the dais, he exclaimed, “They got John McGuire from New York to do your biding.” He walked away to standing ovation and thunderous applause that continued for about a minute.

In regards to the giveaways in new media taking away residuals, and thus a diminution of SAG’s pension and health plans, another board member stated impassionately that she thought that we should be ashamed of ourselves that this is the legacy, we are leaving behind for young actors. She was concerned what young actors were going to do when they hit sixty. And felt we should be ashamed of ourselves for dishonoring those members who had fought for residuals and pension and health. We have to stand up and not let this happen. She ended by saying, “If we don’t stand for something–then we’ll fall for anything.”

A member asked what determines SAG’s jurisdiction? Is how it is recorded or the type performance. It was at this point that came the big lie of the evening; a lie propagated by AFTRA and now being parroted by our so-called chief negotiator John McGuire .

He said, “Well traditionally it was film versus tape!” (Total bullsh*t.)

The questioner persisted that well doesn’t have something to do with live performance?

The response was NO!

This was the big lie of the evening. And it came from our chief negotiator John McGuire who has been with SAG for FORTY YEARS; he knows about our charter but didn’t mention it! One would think that purposely lying to the membership would be grounds for dismissal.

Why no mention of our AFL-CIO (4A’s ) Charter which has been in affect for nearly a half a century. One that clearly states that SAG has jurisdiction over ALL acting on TV except that “done in the manner of a LIVE broadcast.” To prove that McGuire was lying to us. Here is the “smoking gun” excerpts from the part of the charter covering SAG, and then the one cover AFTRA.

(The original Live TV jurisdiction went a organization called the TVO and when they joined AFRA the jurisdiction fell under the new organization AFTRA.)

After several calls of “liar” from several members of the audience. McGuire went into a song and dance about the NLRB having made the “In a live manner” decision, and how it was up to employers to decide who they want to work with. He never once mentioned the charter issued through the jurisdictional arm of the AFL-CIO the 4A’s; one both SAG and AFTRA agreed too abide by. McGuire knows that, but for some reason he doesn’t want SAG members to know it!

Now if the chief negotiator cannot even be straight with us about our jurisdiction, can we believe anything he says about this contract. I say no and that why I say vote no on this contract.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !



Commercial contract passes. See Martin Sheen and other Actors in latest Vote No video!

May 23, 2009 (19:08) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

Commercial contract passes. See Martin Sheen and other Actors in latest Vote No video!

Los Angeles (May 21, 2009) In nationwide voting completed today, members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have overwhelmingly approved new three-year successor agreements to the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Television Commercials Contract and the2006 AFTRA Television and Radio Commercials Contracts .

The memberships of AFTRA and SAG voted 93.84% percent in favor of the new agreements. Approximately 132,000 members of the unions received ballots, of which 28% percent returned them. The final vote was certified today by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington.

The “go-along-to-get-along” crowd (USAN/UFS) say those against the Worst TV/Theatrical Contract in the History of SAG just want to strike.

Duh! If indeed that’s what they wanted, why were their no outcries from them against the commercial contract, no videos not emails?

Most actors felt the commercial contract was, at least, acceptable. On the other hand, they do not find the rollbacks and giveaways in the current TV/Theatrical acceptable.

Here is one group of long time SAG members who don’t find the new TV/Theatrical contract acceptable, and with very good reasons.

Direct Link to YouTube [c8_U0GSXPu0]

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !