William Mapother

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An Appalling Proposal

Posted on: May 25th, 2009 by wmapother 1 Comment

In the past few days, Screen Actors Guild members should have received the proposed contract covering TV and Theatrical (film) work.  If you’re a member or can persuade someone who is, I urge you to vote NO on the proposed contract.

It’s a devastating deal for all actors.  Not only in the short term, but worse, in the long term:  Because this is the first contract to cover New Media/the Internet, the payments we agree to in this contract will be with us for decades:  The Producers have repeatedly refused to change formulas which benefit them.
An all-union negotiating front in 2011 is a pipe dream:  The Producers are under no obligation to face all unions at once and will therefore almost certainly refuse to do so.  Even if they did, the DGA in its entire history has gone on strike once — for 15 minutes; AFTRA chose to negotiate alone last May instead of with SAG; and the WGA just went through a strike.  It’s now or never.
For yourself, for older actors, and for the next generation, please vote NO.
Two Vote No video from some well-known actors are here  and here.
Some reasons to vote NO are because if this contract passes:
1) Actors on shows made for New Media and shown on ad-supported sites (eg, uh, Hulu) will receive ZERO residuals — forever.
2) Studios can use non-union actors in New Media shows with SAG’s blessing.
3) Actors will be forced to promote, in character, any product in TV, film, and New Media.  Without compensation.  This will potentially devastate commercial opportunities for actors.
4) Pre-’74 TV shows and pre-’71 films can be shown on New Media for ZERO residuals — forever.
5) Actors will be forced to give away rights to their image, voice and likeness in New Media as a “condition of employment” (i.e., if they want to be hired).
6) SAG has lost (by the Writers Guild’s calculation) about $4.5 BILLION since 1985 because they agreed to a discount in the first contract covering Home Video.  Since then the Producers have refused to improve the formula, even as Home Video took off (over $23 billion in 2007!).  Whatever we get in this contract, we’re stuck with for a long, long time.
Posted in Acting Tips & Info, Video (Online & Home)

One Response

  1. Roberta says:

    I think just the protest of SAG, are there new ways to watch TV, because the artists do not receive payment on that bill too?
    I hope everything resolves itself in the best possible way so that both sides win, the agreement must be fair to both sides. 😉


    Salvador Bahia Brazil

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