Just days after we learned the kinda-sorta true details of a secret summit called by SAG president Alan Rosenberg and attended by the A-list dons of Hollywood's acting Cosa Nostra, tensions between the union and producers have reached a rolling boil. With 120,000 strike-authorization ballots being readied for mailing—each sealed individually by the scarred, arid tongue of Rosenberg himself—both sides have issued blistering written attacks accusing the other of the kind of selfishness typically associated with junket reporters asking innocuous questions of Philip Seymour Hoffman. First came a Rosenberg-penned missive on Thanksgiving eve, in which the blustery thespians' rights crusader rebuked producers for relying on that old "there's a gigantic recession coming" excuse:
"Like it's our fault," he added. "As middle-income actors, we are the victims of corporate greed. We didn't cause this turmoil."
Thankfully he refrained from likening the actors' plight to those of "Native Americans, whose goodwill and loyal service was also raped and pillaged by the first producers to step off of the Mayflower and onto our shores." The producers, meanwhile, responded with an ad in today's LAT, in which they pointed out that they've managed to close deals with every other guild in this town—including the DGA, WGA, IATSE, AFTRA, and the LCSP, or Legion of Craft Services Providers. It went on:
"SAG is demanding that the entire industry literally throw out all of its hard work because it believes it deserves more than the 230,000 other working people in the business...To comply with SAG's demands would mean SAG merits more than everyone else. Saying yes would jeopardize the trust we have so carefully established with the rest of the industry — at a time when this industry needs stability to ensure that together, we effectively evolve with shifting consumer demand."
We couldn't agree more. With both sides. Equally. Look—just fix this already, OK? If a black man can become president, you can find common ground in the handling of royalties from the sale of films and TV distributed through new media methods. Failure to do so will result, quite simply, in three little words that will all but surely usher in the impending apocalypse: More Rosie Live.
- SAG, studios launch PR offensives [Variety]