SAG Criticizes Studios' Contract Proposal

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The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has accused film and television studios of offering the Guild a contract worth less than the tentative deal they've already struck with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). KPCC's Brian Watt has more on the tussle.

Brian Watt: Earlier this month AFTRA sent its tentative contract to its 70,000 plus members for a ratification vote. About two weeks before they have to return their ballots, those rank-and-filers have been hearing from their leaders, in robo-calls from actor James Cromwell and in YouTube videos like this one featuring Holter Graham, president of the New York local, and Chrisse Roccaro of Portland:

Holter Graham: I was one of the 31 dual cardholding members of AFTRA who just negotiated a kick-ass Exhibit A contract.
Chrisse Roccaro: There are terrific gains for all members of AFTRA in all areas of work and especially in new media.

Watt: About 44,000 people hold membership in both unions. As SAG bargains with the studios, it's waging a campaign to defeat the AFTRA deal. SAG's web site features videos with high-profile members like Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, and Amy Madigan. In one, a wistful looking Viggo Mortensen draws parallels with partisan political campaigns.

Viggo Mortensen: If you don't take part, you can't very well complain after the fact. And you know, forgive my language, but if you don't take part, you will get screwed.

Watt: Mortensen also says in the video that he's considering withdrawing his membership in AFTRA. Both unions' contracts expire on Monday. SAG's leaders have said they'll bargain past that deadline, if necessary.