We All saw how Our current leadership gave BG Actors The Shaft.  The hole thing
continues as demonstrated by this enlightening email I received from
Richard Hadfield!

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Richard Hadfield posted in Union Actors

10:00pm Oct 29

Better Bargaining Strength?   Time To Prove It. 

One of the major reasons given for a SAG/AFTRA merger, besides ending
split earnings, was the claim that a merged union would have greater
bargaining power. SAG-AFTRA has a chance to prove it in the upcoming
TV/Theatrical Contract negotiations.

One major area that has
been neglected during the drive to merge the two unions was the steady
loss of union coverage of background actors. The fact is most of the
major big budget motion pictures now shoot in areas where SAG-AFTRA does
not cover its background actors. This is a relatively new phenomenon.
Where is “Transformers 4” going to be filmed? Not in Hollywood…. Try
Chicago, but even though Chicago is the Nation’s 3rd largest city and in
a union State, BG is still non-union for TV shows and theatrical motion
pictures (BG are covered in Chicago under the Commercial and Industrial
Educational Contracts)

In addition to theatrical motion
pictures, alarmingly “one hour dramas” have also been drawn to these
non-covered BG areas. The reason production of one hour dramas have
largely left L.A. can be partially blamed the lack of union coverage for
BG actors in these areas outside of L.A. Am I saying the lack of BG
Zones is the major reason productions leaves L.A.? No, but it is a major
contributing factor. The inaction, in expanding BG coverage, is helping
to drive production away from the areas where most of SAG-AFTRA’s
members live.

It was recently revealed, in The Hollywood Reporter, that the SAG-AFTRA financial plan was modeled on its having a
steady stream of 375 new members a month. If there are no new jobs, the
number of people who will see a benefit in joining SAG-AFTRA, will most
certainly decline. How do most people become eligible to join SAG-AFTRA?
Are 375 non-union actors Taft-Hartelyed every month? I don’t think so. I
think the hundreds of people that SAG-AFTRA is expecting to join; will
become eligible to join by doing background acting or “extra work”.

No work in L.A., means fewer new members joining SAG-AFTRA.

Fewer new members in SAG-AFTRA, equals more financial problems for SAG-AFTRA.

To demonstrate the loss of SAG-AFTRA jobs in just this year look were
the broadcast networks are shooting their new one hour prime time
dramas:

ABC’s no union background actor shows

Nashville-Nashville, Tennessee.
Betrayal-Chicago
Mind Games- Chicago
Killer Women-New Mexico
Reckless-New Orleans
Resurrection-Atlanta
Doubt (pilot) Chicago
Occult (pilot) New Orleans

NBC’s no union background actor shows

The Night Shift-New Mexico
Chicago P.D. – Chicago
Chicago Fire – Chicago
Crisis-Chicago
Grimm-Portland
Revolution-Atlanta

CBS’ no union background actor shows

Reckless (same name as new ABC show)-South Carolina
Under the Dome – North Carolina
Ravenswood (pilot) New Orleans
Second Sight (pilot) New Orleans
Fox Network’s no union background actor shows
Sleepy Hollow-North Carolina

A network drama costs $60 million dollars a year to produce and employs many more BG actors than a 1/2 hour sitcom.

P.S. This is not nearly a complete list. I did not include the plethora
of hit pay cable and basic cable shows such as Showtime’s
“Homeland”(Atlanta) and HBO’s “Treme”(New Orleans) or AMC’s “Walking
Dead” (Atlanta) and “Breaking Bad” (New Mexico), USA Network’s “Burn
Notice” (Florida{111 episodes with not one union BG actor}) or “Sirens”
(Chicago).

SAG-AFTRA needs to prove that it has more bargaining
strength and demand and expansion of BG Actor Zones.  The future of
SAG-AFTRA is at risk.

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Great Post, Richard!!!!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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