SAG's New Leadership Squanders A-List Assisted Opportunity For Backchannel Communications With Hollywood CEOs

I’ve been reporting repeatedly that the newly installed SAG leadership has zero interest in bettering the lousy terms of the AMPTP’s “Last, Best And Final” TV/Theatrical contract offer made to the Guild on February 18th. Not the New Media terms. Not the issues of residuals or jurisdictions. Not anything except the expiration date of the contract. Well, now the Los Angeles Times backs up my posts.

I’d been hearing, too, about backchannel communications between the Hollywood moguls and SAG’s newly named chief negotiator John McGuire that had been arranged by a few A-list actor / producers / directors (names like Tom Hanks and George Clooney have been mentioned). But I couldn’t believe my ears that this fresh opportunity would be squandered by the SAG National Majority.

Because my own insiders and even the LA Times‘ sources say the new SAG leaders are only bargaining the issue of the contract’s expiration date. (To be absolutely accurate, the LA Times soft-pedals this as “primarily” but mentions no other terms being discussed.) So the sole dispute between the Hollywood CEOs and the SAG National Majority right now is about whether the pact runs only 2 years or 3, and only that because it could prevent a SAG/AFTRA merger.

So tell me, SAG members: is that the only dispute between you and the Hollywood CEOs worth talking about now?

(Variety is reporting that, a day after it was offered, SAG’s newly named negotiating task force “agreed” to everything else in the AMPTP’s LB&FO. Either your untrustworthy trades got it wrong again, or else SAG’s new leaders have not shared this news with the membership, who have been told only that Guild board rejected the proposed contract.)

Look, it doesn’t take a psychic to predict there’ll be an AMPTP-SAG National Majority compromise on this issue (along with some secret agreement to not join any WGA strike in 2011 or 2012. That’s not victory. That’s appeasement.

What then? I’ve been repeatedly urging SAG leadership, no matter who’s in charge, to immediately and democratically send out the AMPTP’s contract proposal to all guild members for a vote.

  1. SAG’s White Says Membership May Never Vote On Contract
  2. Will New SAG Leaders Just Let AMPTP Unilaterally Impose Its Offer On Guild?
  3. THR Gets It Wrong About AFTRA vs SAG TV Pilots
  4. SAG National Majority Has No Clue What To Do Next
  5. SAG Board Today Votes To Reject AMPTP “Last Best Final” Offer
  6. SAG National Majority Has No Clue What To Do Next
  7. AMPTP Gives SAG “Last Best Final” Offer And Blows Off New Negotiators
  8. Why The Smoke & Mirrors, SAG & AMPTP?

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