This Membership First campaign email from Anthony DeSantis is making the rounds today. See Unite For Strength’s Ned Vaughn’s denial:
This past week, David Jolliffe, Anne-Marie Johnson and I (Anthony DeSantis) had the opportunity to debate Unite for Strength, specifically Ned Vaughn and Michelle Allsop. This debate was arranged and facilitated by Lesley Kahn for her students.
During the debate our side brought up the sub-par AFTRA cable contracts and how much the actors hated working under them. We cited Brett Cullen’s experience on Damages –how he was required to travel and house himself. Ned Vaughn countered that he had personally spoken to both Glenn Close and Willliam Hurt from Damages and asserted that they were very happy with their contracts. The students immediately reacted to Glenn Close’s name, knowing that as the star of the show she was enjoying a completely different deal than everyone else. Anne-Marie, David and I all were particularly skeptical of Vaughn’s claim as we had heard that William Hurt’s did not like his Damages contract.
Today we received confirmation from a mutual friend of Mr. Hurt’s feelings. The following letter is from JoBeth Williams who had the opportunity to work and speak with Mr. Hurt just recently on Damages and who was willing to follow up with Mr. Hurt on Ned Vaughn’s assertion that he was happy with his Damages contract:
“I was amazed to hear that Ned Vaughn said publicly that he had a conversation with Bill Hurt in which Bill said how happy he was with the AFTRA contract on Damages. I just had lunch with Bill last Monday in New York after we had done the Today Show together (Big Chill cast show), and I was part of a conversation at that lunch in which Bill was, in fact, expressing his disgust with the AFTRA contract. He said he was only doing television to make money, since he hated how fast one has to work. And that he was angry at having a contract in which he would not receive any residuals for a year. So I emailed Bill two days ago asking him about his conversation with Ned Vaughn, and if what Ned had said was accurate. His response was ‘How can I get hold of Ned Vaughn because it’s obvious he reversed the whole deal? How might I contact him? Any idea? What a jerk!’ I promised I would find out for him.”
U4S leader Ned Vaughn responded to me:
“This is absurd. I’ve never spoken with William Hurt about his Damages contract and never said that I did. I pointed out that he and Glenn Close and Tate Donovan work each week on the show, and I assume they’re happy doing so.”
But MF’s David Jolliffe who was also there insists:
“Vaughn told a room full of around 40 actors that he had personally spoken with Glenn Close and William Hurt (never mentioned Tate) about their Damages deal. And said that they were both ‘extremely happy with the AFTRA terms’.”