In a definitive demonstration of dclass, the nouveaux noticed AFTRA leadership sent out the following missive to its membership.
What makes this press release so obscene is that AFTRA’s leadership is ballyhooing the fact that a ‘producer friendly’ trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter, has named Ms. Reardon among one of the most Powerful Women in the Television and film industry — along with the likes of Sony’s Co-Chairperson Amy Pascal, and Disney’s Co-Chairperson, Anne Sweeny.
That the Sony and Disney Co-Chairpersons were singled out in the AFTRA press release is appropo, in that it was Disney’s “It’s a Laugh Productions” that AFTRA played ball with when it offered them a sweetheart deal at the expense of actors; one that offered them the services of SAG actors at inferior minimums, and residual giveaways, low-balling the SAG contracts that Disney had been working under. (click to read the contract)
For instance, the hit show “That’s So Raven” was done under a SAG contract, but AFTRA poached it’s spin-off “Corey In the House” with its lowball agreement, taking money out of actors pockets and putting it in AFTRA’s coffers. As to Sony, it is well known that because of AFTRA’s compliant nature they are directing their projects AFTRA’s way at every available opportunity.
A compliant union is a good union.
And, in regards to studios and producers, the same sentiment applies to labor leaders; a compliant labor leader is a good labor leader.
Look, a labor leader can obtain power in two ways; One, by standing up to management using the power of the union’s workers to get the best possible deal for them. Or, secondly, the union leader can gain personal power by the leader’s willingness to sellout his/her members to management by cutting them sweetheart deals at the actors expense.
As to which grouping Ms. Reardon belongs, I’ll leave that up to the reader. But ask yourself when was the last time AFTRA’s leadership stood up to management? And which contract would you as an actor rather work under SAG or AFTRA? And if Ms. Reardon is so powerful why is it that their members are allowed to work non-union cable news networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC? And why do these broadcaster venues still remain non-union? To me the answer is obvious; AFTRA and its leaders only have power when they have another union, like SAG to under cut.
Hey, the truth is, considering what’s going on at the Hollywood Reporter, their ‘Power’ Award don’t really mean all that much anyway. Let’s face it, to them any woman that’s still got a job is powerful.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief