Thursday, January 8, 2009



It is becoming well known that there is a serious rift between actors who are members of the Screen Actors Guild. There are those, mainly behind the SAGs leaders Alan Rosenberg and Doug Allen, and the faction called Membership First who are calling for a strike authorization vote, and those that do not want to strike.For those that want a strike, like actress Francis Fisher, the battle for the voting hearts and minds of actors who will vote on the authorization has become vicious and politcal. Francis Fisher has now brought the battle to the SAG actors who are currently voting for the SAG Awards.This email (below) has been forwarded by Francis Fisher, urging other actors to "punish" those nominated for awards that have spoken out against a strike:


THESE LETTERS ARE FORWARDS;> IF YOU CHOOSE TO FORWARD THIS TO YOUR SAG COLLEAGUES, PLEASE REMOVE MY NAME AND ADDRESS FROM THE HEADER.>> ***************************> Dear Actor Friends,>>> I’d like you to look at this list of name actors:>> Alec Baldwin> Josh Brolin> Steve Carell> Sally Field> Michael C. Hall> Susan Sarandon> Tony Shalhoub> Kevin Spacey>> These eight and several more of our “high-profile” fellow Guild members have recently done two things:>> (A) They have advised us rank-and-file members to VOTE NO to giving our National> Board the authority to call a strike if the AMPTP refuses to improve its> insulting and contemptuous “last, best and FINAL” offer.>> (B) Now these arrogant elitists are trying to take away our right to even HAVE a> vote on this critical issue. They are telling the National Board to withdraw> the strike authorization referendum.>> This is the National Board which is now dominated by “Unite-for-Strength”> and USAN, their New York allies. U4S and USAN are the same faction which> these SAME STARS endorsed in the September board election.>> And this is the same U4S/USAN-dominated National Board which voted, in October,> (by 97% to 3%) to (1) call in a Federal Mediator, AND — if mediation FAILED –> (2) send out ballots to us — the membership — asking for the authority to> call a strike if the AMPTP continued to insult and demean us.>> And now, many of those same National Board members, with the support of a long> list of star actors and star actor/PRODUCERS, are ready to renege on their vote — their> promise! — to give us members a voice in these fateful negotiations about the> future of middle-class actors.>>> I’m feeling angry and I’m feeling powerless. And I’m ready to do something I wouldn’t have dreamed of until now.>> I’m ready to do something radical.>> I cannot claim the following idea as my own, but I am determined to act on it.>> This advice I’m pasting here was posted on the website I’m not> telling YOU what to do, only that I am going to follow the advice below and> use my vote for the S.A.G. “Actor” Awards to send a message.> ################################################################################>> Darling Actors,>> I’m just a fan. I’m especially a fan of character actors. (My heart belongs to Claude Rains. And Gale Sondergaard is one of my role models.)>> And I follow the labor scene. Lots of struggles on lots of fronts. Not just the Hollywood scene, though it’s especially juicy.>> BOYCOTTS can be an effective weapon in labor struggles. And my labor savvy tells me that YOU have a boycott weapon, in your hands, right now.>> It’s a ballot. Your awards ballot.>> Like every other self-respecting Hollywood institution, you put on an annual AWARDS show. And show-business handicappers love to read YOUR awards as OSCAR tea-leaves. (That’s why many of us tune in.)>> Well, the following actors have two things in common. ONE is that they are nominees for S.A.G. “ACTOR” honors.>> Thing TWO-in-common is this: These rich-and-famous nominees have all signed on to Danny DeVito’s famous open letter. The one where DeVito and his fellow stars tell YOU that YOU should vote against giving YOUR National Board the option of calling a strike, if, IF, the networks and studios keep treating you with contempt.>> Thing-TWO-in-common means this, at least to a watchful fan: These nominees seem to want their union to be weak and to capitulate to the moguls.>> And yet, THEIR UNION might give these union-underminers that prized statuette.>> Those DIS-loyal nominees are . . .>> JOSH BROLIN (”Milk”)>> KEVIN SPACEY (”Recount”)>> SUSAN SARANDON (”Bernard & Doris”)>> MICHAEL C. HALL (”Dexter”)>> SALLY FIELD (”Brothers and Sisters”)>> ALEC BALDWIN (”30 Rock”)>> STEVE CARELL (”The Office”)>> TONY SHALHOUB (”Monk”)>> If I were a regular, ordinary, not-rich-and-famous actor, and if I wanted my union to be strong so it could fight for me . . . would I want to give any of these rich-and-famous UNION-UNDERMINERS my vote? Would I want my union to give them such an honor — MY UNION’s ultimate stamp-of-approval?>> I would remember those names when I began to mark my ballot.>> Most of us in labor only get to vote for union officers, or for new contracts. YOU get to vote for actors who perform outstandingly, AND who (you hope) support the union that is honoring them.>> If the networks and studios beat you down, it will be a disheartening signal to other working folks across the country. Don’t let it happen. Use your strength. And use your awards vote.>> Vote for actors who are loyal to their union.>> In solidarity,>> A spiritual daughter of Jane Darwell>> January 7, 2009 7:19 PM