Dateline, Heavenly Hollywood (2/8/04)
Well kiddies, as I perused the S.A.G. Website last night, I came across this little telling tidbit of information:
Joint SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP Statement on February 8, 2004
LOS ANGELES (February 8, 2004) –Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) today released the following joint statement:
“Over the past week, a joint SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee has met with representatives from the AMPTP to discuss a proposal from the producers to extend for one year the current TV/Theatrical contract, which expires on June 30. Our goal is to reach an extension agreement that protects and enhances the rights of working actors and avoids a slow down in production. The discussions went into a recess period on Friday night. Each side hopes to resume talks over the coming days.”
Now that little timely tidbit certainly brings to mind several questions Inquiring Industry Minds want answered.
For instance, why would the forces that be at SAG have been in such a reckless rush to decide upon their negotiating strategy–which passed the joint boards unanimously; and
for heaven sakes, why were they hell bent on scurrying headlong into the negotiations, even though it meant ignoring the standard cycle and undercutting the goals of their scribe brethren at WGA—if at the end of the day their chief purpose was (seemingly) to delay their entire negotiations for a year? And
Now having already passed their proposals over to the producers, it seems to yours truly that they are considering undercutting their own goals by delaying the discussions– and allowing the producers even more time to come up with arguments. Louie B. and Jack W. would have had these across-the-table folks for breakfast. Why you might ask, kiddies, would there be such a premium put on Confidentiality in the W&W process when in the “Final Reel” SAG’s ultimate proposals are delivered to the producers one year ahead of the actual talks.
In addition, CEO Bob, President Gilbert and their band of merry negotiators not only Whipsawed the WGA but are indubitably playing directly into the hands of the DGA as it is then THEIR turn to go into talks. (Maybe SAG’s CEO and Prez are going for a “Hat Trick” by trying destroy the chances for ANY of the 3 unions to get a better deal. Hopefully, All Three won’t all end up looking like a bunch of hockey pucks! )
Of course, everyone in the know knows that the DGA will call “Cut” before ever picking up a picket sign.— so SAG will have no bargaining leverage directed toward them by waiting for the “Film By” folks.; And what with this Contemplated Cycle–Interruptus with the WGA— the DGA never has to worry about their prime concern-the WGA and the AMPTP taking away their precious “Film By” credits. Once that little worry went bye-bye two years ago, the DGA dived into their talks, early of course, so as to not upset the apple cart of production schedules, and fell directly into line with the bargaining successes of the WGA (allied as they were with S.A.G. at the time) and failed to increase by a single simoleon, the cash flow that “pattern bargaining” is supposed to provide to all unions..
Isn’t it ironic, kiddies that these same folks who bitched and moaned and complained during the William Daniels’ term of office about how SAG was ignoring the long lasting “strategic alliance” with the DGA, have now already turned their backs on the success of the WGA and perhaps worse, completely “dissed” them in their “Grand Scheme” of zero action/zero success.
Does this administration even have a clue what Strategic Planning is? Considering that in the last two years the salary of Sally Weaver, head of Strategic Planning, has almost doubled, when does she, and those she answers to, actually show some fortitude & foresight?
SW Award Winning Columnist Annie Nonamuss
When the Chatty, Charming Annie decided to grace our presence with her wit and wisdom, we here at the SAG Watchdog realized it was not just a stroke of good fortune —but more a gift from God.
A.L. Miller SW’s Award Winning Editor & Chief