As the threat of an actors’ strike looms, a feud is raging between two actors unions: the all-powerful Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. Here’s the CliffsNotes version:
AFTRA agreed to a new contract with the Hollywood studios on May 28 but SAG doesn’t want AFTRA’s membership to approve it. SAG thinks AFTRA’s deal sucks and they don’t want to be forced to accept a similar one. AFTRA, meanwhile, wants its members to agree to the deal they stayed up all night hammering out.
Tom Hanks has urged AFTRA to go ahead and ratify their deal. But now more A-listers are taking sides.
Variety: As SAG begins its 38th day of negotiations with the majors today, the pro-AFTRA forces have added Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey to their list of several hundred endorsers, led by Tom Hanks and Sally Field. SAG’s anti-deal campaign has been stressing that voting no does not mean AFTRA will go strike, even though the ballot says a no vote gives AFTRA leaders a strike authorization.
SAG announced Tuesday it had added high-profile supporters including Jack Nicholson, Ben Stiller, Josh Brolin, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Viggo Mortensen, Nick Nolte and Martin Sheen. It’s also amped up its PR campaign via print ads.
“A no vote means no and that’s all its means,” SAG said in an ad placed in today’s edition of Daily Variety. “What about going back to the table? Is AFTRA saying they won’t go back and bargain a better deal if AFTRA members vote this deal down? The SAG national negotiating committee knows that a ‘no’ vote makes a strike less likely because it shows that all actors want a better deal.”
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