UPDATE: A dozen film industry workers protested outside the Hollywood town hall meeting of the Screen Actors Guild on Wednesday night holding up signs saying “Please No Strike Now — The Crew” in the rain. The group described themselves as location scouts, technicians and camera-equipment vendors. The “No Strike” group greeted some 570 attendees arriving in the downpour and cold to attend tonight’s SAG leadership informational meeting at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. “There were a lot of new faces,” one attendee told me. Once gain, SAG President Alan Rosenberg and Executive Director and chief negotiator Doug Allen gave their slideshow about the AMPTP’s June 30th “last offer” to the big actors guild and the need for a strike authorization “Yes” vote to give SAG leverage with Big Media.
Overall, the sentiment of the estimated 40 speakers at the microphone was escribed to me by one attendee as “very very positive. They asked good questions. No one said, ‘It’s a good deal: Take it’. Some people were wary of the economic climate. Most were supporting what SAG was doing. Those not supporting said it was based on timing, not the guild.”
Sources said that of the 40 speakers, 80% were pro, 15% undecided, and the remaining 5% con.
Several times there was applause from the audience of SAG members as a “sign of unity” for some of the speakers. The biggest surprise was Rob Schneider who went to the microphone and articulately “told it like it is. He was honest and up front. He’s against accepting this deal.” There also was a huge standing ovation after Ed Asner spoke. “It was an invigorating off-the-cuff speech,” one attendee described to me.
Several of the speakers chose to villify former SAG president Melissa Gilbert for the substance of her “Vote No” opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times Wednesday. “People got up and laid into her mostly as a mouthpiece for the AMPTP,” one source related to me. “I haven’t heard her name mentioned so many times in a long while.”