Joan Halpern Weise, one of SAG-AFTRA’s chief contract negotiators, has quietly left the union to become manager of labor relations at Netflix, where she could find herself across the bargaining table from her former union colleagues. Weise, one of the entertainment industry’s longest-serving union executives, left SAG-AFTRA about a month ago without a peep from the union.
Weise joined AFTRA’s Los Angeles local as a television field rep in 1981 and rose steadily through the union’s ranks. She was named the local’s assistant executive director in 1992, responsible for all contract areas and the day-to-day operations of the local. She joined AFTRA’s national staff in 2000, serving as one of the chief negotiators of AFTRA’s Network Television Code, its primetime TV contract, and its public television agreement. When AFTRA merged with SAG in 2012, she was named SAG-AFTRA’s assistant national executive director of contracts. Last November, she helped negotiate the union’s new Network TV Code.
In 2011, when Netflix outbid HBO to obtain House Of Cards, she helped sign the show to an AFTRA contract.