As several stars of network TV shows indicated that they may refuse to cross picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America, the president of the Screen Actors Guild sent out a notice to members today (Friday) warning that refusing to show up on the set is a breach of the guild's contract with producers. "If you are contracted to work on a television series or motion picture that continues to produce while the WGA is on strike, you are obligated by your personal service agreement and the 'No Strike' clause in our collective bargaining agreements to go to work," SAG President Alan Rosenberg said in the membership notice, adding, "It is not reasonable to expect SAG cast members to risk the potentially enormous personal liability that may flow from refusing to work in the absence of a SAG strike." In fact, news reports observed, a premature shut-down of production because of several stars' and "hyphenate" producers' decisions not to cross WGA picket lines could put hundreds of other actors and crew members out of work. The strike continues to draw little sympathy from most of the press, which has suggested that it will result in more financial harm to writers and other members of the industry than can possibly be gained -- even if the writers' demands are met. In today's Washington Post, TV columnist Lisa de Moraes quoted an email sent out by Shonda Rhimes, producer and co-writer of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, in which she explained her decision not to cross the picket lines by saying, "How am I supposed to look at myself in the mirror or look at my child years from now and know that I did not have the courage of my convictions to stand up and put myself more at risk than anyone else?" Commented de Moraes: "No word as yet from the Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice cameramen, costumers, lighting crew, etc. -- some of whom will be laid off if the shows go dark -- in reax to multi-millionaire Rhimes's 'more at risk than anyone else' gag."




09/11/2007