Will A Sag-amptp Deal Fly With Unionists?
For the first time since last November, the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will meet again on February 17 and 18 in hopes of reaching a new labor agreement. They will do so in the face of predictions by the Membership First faction of SAG on Tuesday that any agreement between the two sides would be disastrous. "We are not just fighting for TODAY. We are fighting to protect every actors' ability to make a middle class living today AND in the FUTURE," the statement said. Any deal would require endorsement by two thirds of the members. Moreover, an attorney representing SAG President Alan Rosenberg said Tuesday that the action by the union's national board to fire National Executive Director Doug Allen was not legally binding and therefore any deal reached between the two sides should be considered without "force and effect." Meanwhile, Daily Variety reported today (Wednesday) that one year after the strike by the Writers Guild of America, writers are finding that movie studios have made "massive reductions in post-strike script fees" and networks have cut back on development of TV shows. At the same time, the networks have learned that many viewers who tuned out during the strike have not returned. "As any network [scheduling] exec will tell you, when viewers break a given habit, even for just a few weeks, it's next to impossible to get them all back," the trade paper observed. ( Variety also reported that the WGA may bring disciplinary action against Jay Leno for delivering monologues on the Tonight show during the strike.)