Support from SAG President Alan Rosenberg

December 16, 2007

Dear Writers Guild of America Members,

I am writing to you on behalf of 120,000 proud members of Screen Actors Guild who stand with you in solidarity as your strike continues. We believe that now more than ever, we must remain strong and even more committed to achieving our common objectives. We are proud to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with you and SAG will be there for as long as it takes.

Your fight is our fight. Our National Executive Director Doug Allen and I are working around the clock with Patric Verrone and David Young to coordinate our strike support efforts. I'm sure you have seen some of the thousands of Screen Actors Guild members who've been walking the picket lines in Los Angeles, New York and around the country for the last six weeks.

I and other Screen Actors Guild representatives have attended your negotiations and your negotiators have been reasonable and professional. The AMPTP put draconian rollbacks on the table, wasting months of negotiating opportunity. The AMPTP walked out of negotiations twice...most recently after an unreasonable ultimatum that WGA withdraw six key bargaining proposals including several relating to new media compensation.

It is time for the AMPTP to return to the bargaining table.

I salute the cast members and rank-and-file SAG members who are so much a part of this struggle and have made their opinions known to the press, the public, and our employers. As most television shows and motion pictures have shut down, actors are not working. But we know that this fight is for the rights of all creative artists, and our collective future is at stake. We share your sound and reasonable goals for fair compensation for new media formats and we believe you are doing the right thing by taking a stand.

As 2007 comes to an end please be assured, Screen Actors Guild will stand with you for as long as it takes.

I wish you and your families peace, perseverance and patience during this difficult time.

In solidarity,

Alan Rosenberg
Screen Actors Guild


Yes I AM Making Fun of You said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yes I AM Making Fun of You said...

Oh, goody. At least SAG is on the side of the writers. I'm not convinced my own union is--well, the WGA is allowing some writers to work. Those lucky few who work for Letterman that is, too bad he's not running the AMPTP

Harold said...

Two things:

1. If the WGA hadn't pulled DVDs off the table the first time AMPTP threatened to walk, AMPTP might not be pulling this stunt EVERY TIME. It's incredibly gullible to think that after MONTHS of AMPTP lies that the DVD demand would have been remotely truthful. The WGA negotiators - professional or not - suck. They should be tossed from the guild for the DVD stunt. That's straight out of the John Wells playbook.

2. I have no idea what SAG is talking about when it writes "walk shoulder-to-shoulder with you." The WGA is handing out waivers. The WGA is going back to work. The Late Show is just the first one. More to follow. SAG isn't going to be walking a picket line with WGA. They'll be too busy performing from scripts written for waivered shows. EXCEPTION: The only WGA and SAG picketers will be the ones that were unemployed before the strike.

Bartleby said...


don't forget the "waiver" given to the SAG awards.

But it is the season of giving, so Verrone seems to be handing out 'waivers' this year.

Patrick Meighan said...

It's always great to be reminded of SAG's support for us.

I've seen lots of SAG members out walking the picket lines with us during my picket shifts at the Fox lot, and if this is still going in late June, it'll be fun to see, oh, 120,000 more of 'em!

Thanks, SAG.

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

Harold said...

I think there should be a poll.

Which show will be getting the next "interim agreement," "strike waiver," or whatever you want to call something that allows a show to air and employ WGA writers during a WGA strike without consequence to those writers or the show, but isn't a "contract," "long-term agreement," or whatever you want to call something that has the MBA and other goodies in it?

As always, a shout out to the Late Show and its despicable writing staff. Thanks for your "interim support" of the strike. Looks like your "interim support" will soon be converting to "permanent non-support."

Late Show writers, like all other ass maggots, you nauseate me.

Watcher said...

Harold, yes i am making fun of you, and bartleby are working overtime. I hope they're being paid overtime.

"Yes" is hardly a writer. No member of the Guild would be trying to stir up divisiveness right now. Ask yourself who would.

Waivers! Waivers! The sky is falling! Don't think your Guild made a good move here! Don't let the fact we've rushed to badmouth it influence you! You're divided! Do you hear me, divided! Dammit, stop all this picketing together and this horrible cooperation and brotherhood stuff! YOU'RE DIVIDED, DAMN YOU!

And you hate your negotiators, too. I mean organizers...

actorinsupport said...

I know it's hard to stay positive during a Strike. I'm already feeling the effects of it and I'm ALLOWED to work. So the negativity posted here is not good. Especially when you know it's read by 'the evil..I mean other side'.
That being said, I am trying to view the Letterman Waiver as a positive in that he will keep the Strike in the news, on people's minds. Mainstream Media surely isn't. And if Celebs honor the picket line, that could mean that Letterman is the only one who gets the 'stars' that middle America wants to see...which means viewers flock to Dave while NBC continues to slump. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Wouldn't that encourage NBC to also make a deal? Can we try to focus on some of the positive things? The Letterman group has been out there everyday freezing their asses off on the line in NY. Don't slam them. This could be looked at as bad...but why not hope for the best? This town, speaking from someone posting in LA and this business, speaking from someone posting for all, is tough enough. Put some positive energy out there and maybe things will turn around.

Best to all.

Captain Obvious said...

Seems many of the recent posters are squeaky wheels, hoping for some grease.

Watcher said...

Don't worry, actorinsupport, these aren't genuine writers saying these things -- or genuine anything. Look up "astroturfing" in Wikipedia.

The people who frequent the site are pretty aware of it, and won't be fazed. Heck, even those not in the biz, like the fans who visit here, know who these people are. I've seen a few of them insulted by the astroturfers, and it just rolls off their back. Like background noise.

Blah blah WAIVER. Blah blah DIVIDED. Blah blah BTLS HATE YOU. ...Oh, wait, that one was on LAST week's astroturf talking points. I'd love to see the list they hand you guys.

"How can you SAY that just because we DISAGREE with you blah blah IGNORE THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN."

Frustrated Bystander said...

Anyone who's a writer knows, in the Hollywood writers' culture, writers do not begrudge each other when they get jobs. They usually get the clap on the back that says, "Good on you, man! Hope that's me next year."

Yeah -- all those voices who are going to concentrate on trying to rehash the reality/animation sucks digression; or those who say all the BTLs are all behind Tom Short, go Shorty, you're our man; or those who scream that waivers are bad, it's bad when writers/actors/producers/btls work, waah not fair to greedy old me; how dare a company strike a separate deal with WGA and give those blasted artists a fair piece of the pie -- it's just unfair I tell you -- pretty much anyone who sounds like that is probably not a writer.

Every artist in this town knows what's at stake. Anyone who says "go for the bad deal, so I can get back to work," sounds like a voice for the AMPTP to me. Ooh, I said AMPT-pee. Pee. Hehe. Pee. Did you hear that? Pee.

Take that tinkle mouthed astroturfers.

embers said...

I feel that I've wandered into 'troll country', and I'm thinking that these comments are coming from people who reflect the AMPTPs fear that the WGA will manage to dismantle the AMPTP and negotiate individually with the producers. David Letterman is leading the way in an effort to by pass Nick Counters gamesman bullshit and make a fair deal directly with the WGA.

Anyway what I really wanted to say is that I honor the SAG members, right from the first day they have been out at the picket lines. They help get press (even when the media moguls are trying to kill the story).

Harold said...

Watcher and Frustrated Bystander:

I've addressed Watcher on this elsewhere, but tomorrow at 6:30 pm, you can hear some of the discontent with the Late Show waiver in person. Unless you're going to accuse those people of being AMPTP infiltrators, you're going to have to come to the realization that perhaps, just perhaps, not everyone is falling behind the incompetence that has got us to this point.

FB, I did love the "writers do not begrudge each other when they get jobs." That's usually true - when they both didn't want it. Even then, they don't begrudge each other most of the time - OPENLY.

Shawn said...

I'm sure the leaders of SAG and WGA have this in mind already, but in order for the return of late-night to truly work in favor of this strike, the following needs to happen:

NO SAG member should appear on Leno, Conan, Carson Daly, and Jimmy Kimmel (and even Ellen). They should ONLY appear on Letterman. And EVERY big name talent that comes on Letterman should say SOMETHING about the strike.

The star of a Universal movie can get pressured to appear on an NBC show, but he or she should not appease the studio/conglom.

Leno, Conan, Jimmy should not hesitate to mention on air how they don't have "stars" on their shows, and should, along with Letterman, voice their displeasure about the AMPTP - to the point where the viewers who are watching them ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND that the strike isn't some hokey Hollywood action that they shouldn't mind.

The whole waiver to Letterman thing is a good thing, if and only if something SIGNIFICANT like the above is actually carried out.

Carrie said...

I wrote it in the post below, but I'm going to go ahead and retiterate it here, an interim contract -- which is what is being reported in the stories about WGA negotiation with World Wide Pants, the makers of the Letterman Show -- is not the same as a waiver. A waiver allows writers to work under the terms of the previous agreement. An interim Agreement is a new contract, with new, negotiated terms, that is put in place until a new, overall MBA is negotiated.

The important distinction here is that interim agreement can put in terms regarding New Media and DVD. If the WGA is able to negotiate enough of these deals showing that a fair agreement can be made on these issues it puts more pressure on the AMPTP. Having some networks able to show new content, while others are withering puts pressure on the AMPTP.

It's also important to hear such words of support from a sister union, because if this strike is still happening in June, knowing that SAG is on the same page and isn't about to cut a bad deal just to avoid a strike, also puts more pressure on AMPTP and hopefully provides comfort to the strikers they are not alone.

Frustrated Bystander said...

Hey Harold -- You haven't ever competed with a fellow writer for a job, and when your buddy got it, you didn't congratulate him? Yeah -- there might be that brief hit of boohoo for me, but the big overall feeling for most writers is "I'm glad one of us got it!" Eh, we'll see how many gripey whiners there will be at Santa Monica tomorrow. Probably not a whole lot, just a grumpy minority who are displacing their feelings about wanting to work onto the Letterman situation.

Every writer wants this deal to be completed. Good on Letterman and whoever else decides to go signatory to get their production schedule back into shape.

Watcher said...

And if Alan Rosenberg stops by here -- thank you. And thank you, SAG members. Your support means a lot.

Pay no attention to the crazy comments from the trolls, and forgive those of us who poke them with sticks. It's a strike, and there isn't a lot of fun to be had.

We appreciate everything you and SAG are doing. You're stand-up guys (and I mean that in a gender-inclusive way!). I hope you're having a happy and well-deserved holiday.

hollarback said...

Wondering....Do trolls get overtime holiday season pay? Does it pay it more than a mall Santa?


Amy said...

As a SAG member who has been out there on the picket lines in LA with you guys, I reiterate everything Alan Rosenberg said! You guys have our FULL support!!

I haven't read a lot of the commentary here before, so the "trolls" were a new thing for me. Good times.

Why can't we all just get along?