SAG - Call To Arms

(We want to welcome SAG Member Justine Bateman as a regular contributor to United Hollywood. We hope to continue opening the site up to more voices from SAG and other unions. Justine reminds us that this fight belongs to all of us. We're all on the same page.)

Attention all SAG Actors:

I believe it's appropriate at this time to call all actors into action in support of the Writer's Guild on strike.
I know many of us have been walking the picket lines and attending the rallies, but I want to challenge ALL SAG members to see if they can commit an HOUR-A-DAY to walking the picket lines.
The AMPTP has been jerking the Writer's Guild around.
1. They offered nothing but insulting Roll-Backs to the WGA in the negotiations that caused the strike.
2. They have planted "trolls" to post on the industry internet sites(corporate-paid people who troll the internet for places to pretend they are writers, crew members, and fans and post AMPTP propaganda).
3. They called WGA back to the table on Monday with no intention of settling as they AGAIN presented that rejected Roll-Back proposal. Their purpose in getting in the room again looks only like a weak PR move to get the public and the fans to change their tunes about calling a Christmas Boycott of DVD and downloads. I believe the fans will NOT call those Boycotts off now.
4. They tried to discredit Nikki Finke and deadlinehollywooddaily.com by planting mis-information about this weeks talks in an attempt to crush the spirits of the writers.

Ultimately, this is OUR strike. If the WGA had not called this strike, we would all be participating in MASSIVE stockpiling. Then, in June when our contract expires, the AMPTP would have offered US the no-gains-play-your-work-for-free-and-how-bout-some-rollbacks offer we're now familiar with.
And SAG would have to go on strike, but because of the stockpiling, we would have NO leverage. The AMPTP would have said to us, "Strike all you want. We have enough material stockpiled for 6 moths, maybe more."
And we would have been on strike for months and months and months.

So I urge you, get out there on the lines. Go to www.wga.org and look at the list of picketing locations. There's a studio near you. Pick a gate, become their SAG mascot. Maybe there's a studio that is on the way to a meeting or near the school you drop your kids off at or on the way to where you need to run errands. Just park the car and pick up a picket sign for an HOUR-A-DAY.
These guys need us. We're 120,000 strong. Let's get out there and let them know we're WITH them.
Let them know we are Fighting For The Future, too.

Here are some links. Send any videos you think are important to your friends and family.



Justine Bateman
SAG Member


minus one more IA supporter if you don't shape up said...

I'm behind you on your demand to get fairly compensated. But I think it's just b.s. to accuse people of being trolls just because they are voice their feelings about losing their jobs. That's kind of thing that makes us stop feeling like your brothers and start hating you. Keep it up...Justine.

Anonymous said...

minus - It's understandable when someone comes by and complains that they're being put out of a job. That's fine.

However, some of these 'sufferers' are then posting information that is flat-out false, for the express purpose of trying to make the writers look bad. For example, "Half of the showrunners at such and such place returned to work...", and "I called that phone number and it turned out to be a strip joint lol", and "Writers eat babies and kick kittens."

...all right, so I made up the last one, but it's getting about that bad at this point.

Trolls are easy to spot, if you're not deluded enough to believe everything you read, from EITHER side.

thenicerguy said...

Thank you, Justine. We loved you in the day and we love you now.

Alyx said...

I, for one, extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and everyone who is out there on the picket lines this winter. You are fighting for my future as well as your own, and I will spend the rest of my life in debt to you.

And welcome Justine!

Jake Hollywood said...

Having already walked the picket line with a number of actors, I for one appreciate the support of SAG.

Our fight is their fight, so the support of SAG is both welcome and justified.

I just wish every member of the WGA was on the picket line as well. Imagine the strength of unity we'd have then.

amptp troll said...

Oh! You got me! How did you find out about us? Oh well, I guess my cover is blown.

WGA sucks, AMPTP rules, yada yada yada...

Writers are already paid $3,856,342,463,369,264,298 a year so shut up and get back to work.

frank Uslan Charlie Kartler said...

This whole thing is becoming like a long game of "Deal or No Deal."

Anonymous said...

S#*t, I'm not deluded. I know all about corporate greed. But alot of well meaning and hardworking craftspeople are being called trolls for saying something as benign as "I lost my job and now I face losing my house". Maybe the people who post such cruel and unsympathetic remarks towards the unemployed are actually the trolls. That's what I would do if I were a troll. Make you guys look like a-holes.

Anonymous said...

As I said, it's NOT disagreeing with the writers' stance that makes them trolls.

It's when they post MISINFORMATION, which has disturbing similarities to the same misinformation the studios are printing, that people are labeled trolls.

Thank you for reading.

Lori Kirkland Baker said...

I'm the gate captain at Universal's Main Gate and I just want to post my gratitude to Justine. She has been out there and visible almost every day of picketing. Her support has been tremendous. We have a few other SAG regulars and would love to see more. Thank you for requesting a greater presence.

I think it's completely valid to presume there are trolls on the strike-related sites. Why wouldn't there be? That's the only ammunition the AMPTP has in the online discussion. Still waiting for their shining Youtube moment...

And to all those who taunt us to go back to work without a fair contract, post a reason why we should. The future of all talent deals hangs in the balance. Anyone who thinks all writers are millionaires is not paying attention. Most of us will never earn back the money we're losing in a strike -- a bigger principle is at work. So feel free to go make a bad deal with your own boss and be happy with that. But don't try to shove your own lack of conviction on us. We've BTDT and we're done.

Becca said...

Welcome and Hi Justine!

What a great letter! As a fan who will be out there in 2 weeks to picket, I support SAG and the WGA 100 percent. I hope your Call To Arms brings out the "silver and gold" every day for an hour. If I can fly across the country to picket, I sure hope they can step up and do an hour.


Andrea said...

Justine - thank you for coming out on this issue. I've enjoyed your work since I was a child and appreciate the fact that actors are understanding that without writers they have nothing. Everything starts with a drop of ink and until the AMPTP realizes this people like me will have to keep fighting from the sidelines for what is important.


Anonymous said...

"As I said, it's NOT disagreeing with the writers' stance that makes them trolls.

It's when they post MISINFORMATION, which has disturbing similarities to the same misinformation the studios are printing, that people are labeled trolls."

Yes...I would agree with this. But there are some who evidently define "troll" the other way.

Just like they do "scabs". A scab crosses the line to do the striking workers job. People in other crafts and different unions which have not voted to strike, and who are contractually obligated to report to work or lose their jobs (or be personally liable) are not scabs. Still, there are those who purport to be writers who throw that term around very loosely. That's why I feel that the writers need to do some damage control. Some writers have refrained from using insulting language and have been dignified enough to apologize for the effect that this is having on others. There should be more of that.

Anonymous said...

I will now go an see anything Justine is in. ANYTHING!!!!!

You rock!

Anonymous said...

Justine -- thanks for getting this word out there. I have been a middle-class working actor for 25 years, and as the AMPTP has aimed at getting rid of middle-class actors and their "pesky residuals" and "irritating quotes," I have found it harder and harder to make a living. This is ALL our fight. The WGA, DGA, SAG, AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters, musicians, dancers, stuntpersons, puppeteers, you name it. The moguls in Hollywood have turned their back on us and are only interested in using our talents to make as much money as possible, then kick us onto the street. NO MORE can we take this crap. You can only push people so far, and then they PUSH BACK. Corporate America has forgotten Henry Ford's wise adage that the people who work for you should at least be able to BUY the product they are making. Now...with cable television topping $100 a month, I can barely afford to watch my own work. I'm paying $100 a month to see my rerun of The Closer or West Wing, and getting a joke of a residual payment for it. Sometimes a check for pennies. People in this industry, as well as every other industry in America, are SICK of corporate CEO's crapping on the backs of their workers, then taking home a $150 million severance package as a thank you from their Board of Directors.

Everyone needs to GET out there and scream, "I'M MAD AS HELL AND I WON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE."

The themed pickets are fun -- they really are. But enough. It's time to take some serious strike action.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your call to arms to your fellow actors. Thank you for your continued and unflagging support to the WGA. I'm at Universal and I am impressed and grateful to you for your showing up and walking the line more than some of my fellow writers. Your honest and dedicated stance on this issue encourages me to show up daily and do my bit for not only the WGA, but for the creative community. Your leadership has a far reaching effect and I thank you for stepping up and getting involved.

VDOVault said...

Way to go Justine...welcome to the right side of the fight

If you need any help from the ordinary fans and viewers feel free to stop in at:


Our email is fansforwga @ gmail.com

make sure you remove the white spaces around the @ sign


Anyone who doesn't believe that the networks have hired trolls can email me. I have a site meter which clearly shows cbs, disney, nbc, dreamworks,etc. on it all day long. They come and read my blog and I am sure they also post. There is no way to know who the regular people are that come to my blog but the networks show up as cbs, disney, etc. Of course they are trolling!

Caliban said...

Great letter and a well parsed argument. I just got back from the captains mx and the bulk of the applause was for SAG.

Thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

"Of course they are trolling!"

They may well be. They probably are, but it is responsible to assume that everyone who says something that you don't want to hear is a troll? This is where the problem arises. I think you have to give people the benefit of the doubt or risk alienating people who essentially support you.

Ashley Gable said...

Justine -- thank you so much! As a Fox picketer, I have been so impressed by the support of SAG members already. David Clennon has been out at Fox every single week, Valerie Harper has been out, the casts of House, Bones, and many other Fox shows. Please keep up the support, actor friends -- it means the world to us. And as Patric Verrone always says, we're all in this together.

Patrick Meighan said...


First of all, I just wanted to note that we have SAG folks frequently joining us where I picket (the Fox lot), and it's always such a pick-up. Heck, I just got back from standing in the rain out at Sony today (on an optional day), and we had a couple SAG folks out there, too... again, it's such a boost! If there's more SAG folks out there considering hitting a picket line, by all means, come on out, guys!

That out of the way, after reading your super-great blog post here, I guess what I really want to say is, um, this: I love you!

I love you I love you I love you I love you you're awesome I love you I'm a WGA writer and you're rad and I love you!

Okay, I feel a lot better with that having been said.

With many thanks,

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

Anonymous said...

Patrick Verrone and David "Garment Industry" Young are leading you down the wrong path here - the path to financial ruin. The AMPTP is ready to bust your union and it looks like they are doing a fine job of that. If the AMPTP decides not to recognize the WGA anymore, than what? You people are greedy and selfish pigs for putting other people out of work. So wise up. And it's not a good idea to take inspiration from a dried up 80's sitcom star. Who's gonna be next to rally the troops? Captain Stubing?

Anonymous said...

Oh no you didn't!
I chuckled a little but that really was wrong.

Dorkman said...

To repeat what others have said: no one is accusing EVERYONE who disagrees with the WGA of being a troll.

The exact words were: They have planted "trolls" to post on the industry internet sites(corporate-paid people who troll the internet for places to pretend they are writers, crew members, and fans and post AMPTP propaganda).

If you're not posting AMPTP propaganda, you're not being defined as a troll. And if you are, stop that.

Do your own research, and voice your own opinions. They don't have to agree with the WGA's stance, but don't echo the AMPTP's misinformation.

Anonymous said...

Dear angry anonymous guy,

To answer your question of what we will do if the AMPTP doesn't recognize us anymore - uh, go to the internet. The dinosaur in this picture is the AMPTP. Say hello to the new record companies. They are dying and this strike is forcing writers like myself to come up with deals for our work to go directly to the web. I made one last week and I know several other writers who have done the same. The capitol is there, internet companies are ready and willing to help destroy the studios. It's called open access, which means the end for the studios. Google announced today they would be bidding on their own band width, which means free internet for everyone. Everything is lining up and it's not in the AMPTP's favor. All they are doing right now is forcing us to find new ways to make money and understand that we don't need them. New, happy ways to make money without their idiotic interference and bad notes. No more pitching to idiots with formulas in their head for how to make a proper sitcom or drama. No more ideas being killed by some asshole in marketing.

Writers will more than survive in this new world, we will flourish. So, you keep trying to bring us down with your foolish rhetoric, while I keep writing for the new medium.

Anonymous said...

Alright! That's it. The kids are home from High School, I guess. The flaming has begun and the productive discussion is ending. Thank goodness. I have shit I need to do. Night Night.

Anonymous said...

I find eerie similarities between those who claim their mere 'disagreement' with the strike earns them sarcasm and arrogance in return, and those who claim their 'dissent' with the idea that global warming is happening earns them exactly the same thing.

In my experience, most people who 'dissent' from the idea of global warming do so not out of some honest intellectual disagreement, but rather out of some other personal bugaboo ultimately having nothing to do with the science of climate change. They then convert that bugaboo into a justification to project their own misinformation and mistrust onto a completely undeserving and often unsuspecting group (in this case, climate researchers), all the while claiming victimhood at the hands of a selfish elite.

Gee, sound familiar?

not-a-troll said...

Site meter hits from studio IP addresses can not just be assumed to be trolls. We non-guild staffers who are still at work, and worried about losing our jobs (or are simply concerned members of the media community) check up on the news on a regular basis. From our desks. At the studios...

On a side note: As someone who was once sympathetic to your cause, I must say all the hatred and venom being spewed as of late sure has soured a lot of us toward your position. Wise up, folks. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Lisa said...

I support the strike. I'm not a WGA member...note...YET, but these members are setting the tone and the rules for my future. In learning my craft, and hearing the horror stories on how tough it is to make it in this business, the main thing I have always found incredibly disheartening is the fact that writers are the low pegs on the totem pole. That the wonderful stories that we come up with are taken and hacked away at (for no reason...either too many "egotistical cooks in the kitchen" where the old adage, "If it ain't broke don't fix it" doesn't apply)to change them into something that now sucks...even though they must have liked it to buy it! And of course, we are taken off the project, bought off, whatever...so that they can do this, only to call us back again to try and fix things because they have thoroughly ruined the script. Incredible. EVERYTHING starts with a great script. Writers should be THE highest peg on the totem pole. Without wonderful storytellers (and it ain't as easy to do as most of you think)directors, actors, producers, cameramen, sound people, etc., etc. etc. have no jobs. Without us...good luck. Yes, a lot of writers (note I said "a lot" not all) are paid very well also, when you look at it...but why should they be cut out of money that is going into other people's pockets that wouldn't be going into those pockets if the writer never wrote the story?? I'm looking at this strike, although tough on all of us, as I can't submit my work to struck companies (which is just about every company) until it's over, otherwise if I get taken on or they buy my work, then I'll be labeled a scab and will never be able to get into the WGA someday...so precious time is going by for me also. But I believe ALL people should be paid for what they create in every avenue they can. And most of all they need to be RESPECTED for their talent and what they have contributed to the project. I'm not saying it never has happened...but I'm curious how many of you have ever heard an academy award winning actor thank the writer of the character they created so that the actor could win that award. They seem to thank the director and everyone else in between..but the writer? No wonder so many regular Joe Blows out there think that actors just make up all the lines as they go...that movies aren't really "written". So all you SAG actors out there reading this...please thank the writer if you are EVER in this award winning position, as I truly hope all of you are someday. It ALL starts with a great script folks. Without it Hollywood is nothing! R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I think Aretha got that one right. Mmm hmm, baby.

Anonymous said...

Again I say...

Listen people! In support of this strike, Justine Bateman has selflessly agreed to step out of her role (and forfeit her salary) on the television hit "Family Ties". The least that you can do it follow suit. Many of the crew of that show (some of whom are still alive) have agreed to do the same