Chief Negotiator In Limbo as SAG Board Implodes

Conflicting reports emerged late Monday from SAG's emergency national board meeting, where at least one member says Doug Allen is out as the union's chief negotiator.

Not so, argue SAG reps via henchwoman Nikki Finke, who insists that no vote has yet been cast to remove Allen from the guild's flailing negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Merely a technicality, according to Variety; the board's moderates reportedly have the votes — and moreover the inclination — to pass a resolution nudging Allen, SAG's national executive director, out of contract talks and effectively ending the militant wing's hopes to call for a strike authorization this week. Worsening matters for that Membership First minority, it was one of their own, Seymour Cassel, who broke the news of Allen's ouster to the trades.

His replacement? Your guess is as good as ours; Tom O'Neil seems an enthusiastic, actor-friendly fence-mender with little to do these days. Suggestions?