Friday, March 30, 2012


This was a looong time coming.

Creating Hollywood's largest entertainment union, members of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have voted overwhelmingly to combine into a single bargaining unit.

SAG represents 125,000 actors, extras and stunt performers in movies and television shows. AFTRA has about 70,000 members who are actors as well as singers, dancers, disc jockeys, sports announcers, comedians and broadcast journalists, among others. About 40,000 people hold membership in both labor groups. ...

Should have happened a decade ago.

The long-term problem for SAG, as I understand it, is that AFTRA has been eating its lunch regarding situation comedies. SAG had that landscape almost to itself for a long time, but during the strike threts of 2009, producers began putting new television half-hours under AFTRA contraacts as fast as they could.

It also doesn't help that SAG had jurisdiction over film, but film -- as we've known it for the past 120 years -- is going the way of the passenger pigeon.

But it's good that the two unions finally got their stuff together and got hitched. Now all they have to do is work out the kinks in their respective benefit plans:

... [A]n extensive analysis by The Hollywood Reporter underscores that the future of the SAG health plan may hang in the balance: unmerged, that plan is becoming less robust and more expensive – and this is happening much faster to SAG’s plan than AFTRA’s. ...

Maybe now that there's a merger, things will stabilize.


Anonymous said...

I Know I Know!

How about Animation merges with VFX so that nothing really gets done?

Oh. It's already happening.

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