SAG members did you vote? Did you read the mailers, talk with friends and make your decision? Variety has already certified this as the worst year for productions started in, well, ever. Will we rebound? Will we recover to former heights?
The internet is taking over and internet users want everything for free. Piracy steals billions a year. There's no way to make any money.
And yet celebrations are being had at the studios for box office return that are at a record pace. Hmmm. what aren't they telling us? Economic downturns have always been good for entertainment and alcohol sales. So why the squeeze on us? Why are we the problem? It seems, not unlike the GM debacle, it's only the darn union that seems to be the problem. The folks that make the decisions and sign the checks aren't to blame for any of the wrongs, they're just in place to accept the accolades for the "rights."
Actors are always seen as greedy. The producers, who do have the bigger burden of running the whole thing, are never accused of being greedy in any of the accounts of the negotiations that I've read. I haven't heard anyone report that they are being unreasonable. It seems to be a better story that actors who just have to show up and say words, oh, and then do publicity tours and, oh yeah, then have to deal with people asking for photos and autographs for the rest of their lives, they are the only ones with a greed affliction and surely the blame for this ridiculous contract dispute.
But there is that other union who did jump right in bed with the producers and by golly didn't they get rewarded. What did I hear from my agent? 70 of 77 pilots this last, lame, pilot season were AFTRA pilots.
Membership First is campaigning against this contract hard. Actors are fighting actors. AFTRA is fighting with SAG. The news is that Membership First devotees are also running for board positions in AFTRA so they can block a merger should that silly, silly, idea come up again. Actors fighting actors. Gosh this all makes so much sense.
You know what's missing? The plan. I don't hear a plan from the NO side that tells me how the new, fat, contract will be gotten except the plan that states, "we strike and really force their hand." Membership First has forced everyone's hand and this is where we are folks. AFTRA only wants to grow and they have a teammate in doing that but it's not SAG, it's the producers. SAG had a shot to make them a teammate and didn't take it. It was a failure by us the members to allow this stupidity to take place.
Does Alan Rosenburg have a song ready for the vote results? Will he continue to spend SAG money to reinstate his bulldog negotiator? The Irish conflict waged on for years after the real issue of Prods and Catholics had passed. It became about not wanting to admit that previous bad decisions had led them to where they were. There was too much money at stake and too many dead to have either side to admit they were no longer fighting out of cause but out of habit.
How can we actors still be fighting? We are the only allies we will ever have.
Vote your conscious and then when the merger vote comes up, and it really has to, look back here and I'll help you decide to vote yes on the merger. I will be giving math lessons to those board members that still believe that divided we gain strength.