Friday, June 27, 2008

George Clooney and Potential Actors Strike

A pressing concern of many Angeleno's these days, besides rising gas costs and falling house values is the possibility of another strike that would in effect take the entertainment industry to a grinding halt......yet again!

I don't work in the entertainment industry - but my business only survives because of my regular customers - and a good portion of them - well over half - are employed in one way or another by it. Not to mention countless close friends and neighbors all of whom were unemployed during the 100 day writer's strike. That strike effected so many people in my neighborhood, and frankly most of the small businesses in this area are still trying to recover from it economically - so with the possible Actors strike set to begin at the expiration of the contracts this Monday, I sit here in fear and trepidation we will see a repeat of what we went through this fall, and personally I can tell you many small businesses in this area (myself included) would have trouble surviving another.

I will preface this reprint of the Associated Press article of the statement made by George Clooney with - I do not know all the issues on the table for sure - but I am very impressed with Clooney at standing up and calling out his fellow actors - pleading for everyone to get along for the sake of the thousands of people the strike would negatively impact. George - just one more reason why I adore you!

By RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer Fri Jun 27, 9:27 AM ET
LOS ANGELES - George Clooney just wants actors to get along instead of choosing between sparring unions
In a two-page letter released Thursday, Clooney adopted a neutral stance in the dispute between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

"What we can't do is pit artist against artist," he wrote.
AFTRA has already reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios. SAG wants AFTRA members to vote against the deal, saying its approval will handcuff SAG at the bargaining table.

Both unions' current contracts are set to expire Monday, leaving Hollywood on edge about a possible replay of the 100-day writers strike that ended in February. Results of the AFTRA vote are expected July 8.

Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and others have joined hundreds of actors in signing an online petition urging actors to ratify the AFTRA pact.
Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson, Viggo Mortensen and Holly Hunter have endorsed a SAG ad calling for AFTRA to return to the negotiating table to get a better deal.

Clooney called the fight counterproductive.

"Because the one thing you can be sure of is that stories about Jack Nicholson vs. Tom Hanks only strengthens the negotiating power" of the studios, he said.

Clooney also called on higher-paid actors to chip in a greater share of union dues and for 10 A-listers — "people that the studio heads don't often say 'no' to," he suggested, listing only Nicholson and Hanks by name — to sit down with studio heads once a year to "adjust the pay for actors."

SAG deputy executive director Pamm Fair called Clooney's letter valuable input. AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers declined comment.
Cheers George!

No comments: