As noted here Monday, SAG president and all-around industry red-ass Alan Rosenberg never encountered a paper cut he couldn't pick and peel into a festering scab. A lot of it is the institution's historic dysfunction; less than 90 days from the expiration of its contract with studios, SAG has more factions, infighting and revenue disparities than the Jackson family. Nevertheless, on the second day of negotiations between SAG and producers, Brooks Barnes offers a revealing portrait of the Man Who Would Bring Hollywood to Its Knees If It Will Get Him in the New York Times:
On Tuesday, as his turn at the bargaining table arrived, Mr. Rosenberg said he remained angry enough over performer compensation levels to bring the entertainment industry to a halt again.
"Aside from my family, I have two great loves in my life: acting and the fight for social justice," he said. "Oh yes, we are very serious." ...
Some in Hollywood say Mr. Rosenberg's move into the role of confrontational guild leader comes less from politics than from personal psychology. His older brother, Mark Rosenberg, was a noted civil rights activist who became president of Warner Brothers before dying of heart failure in 1992 at the age of 44. Leading SAG in its battle to secure a ground-breaking labor contract allows Mr. Rosenberg to continue his brother's work.
"There's no doubt that he cared deeply about content creators, and that I share that with him," Mr. Rosenberg said. While not rich by Hollywood standards, Mr. Rosenberg is not exactly what most people consider middle class, either. He is married to Marg Helgenberger, a millionaire because of her lead role on the CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Wait a second — did Rosenberg just allude to a parallel between SAG's stonewalling on new media and... civil rights? Really? That was tasteful. Anyway, Barnes adds that Rosenberg has a more rational advantage as well: Media congloms' upcoming quarterly earnings reports could reflect the damage from the WGA strike, thus establishing new leverage in contract squabbles. And CBS boss Les Moonves earned $36 million in 2007, surely all from CSI's surging Internet revenue. Yes, indeed — "social justice," here we come!