Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PRESIDENT HOWARD'S FIRST OFFICIAL APPEARANCE RECOGNIZES DIVERSITY

FROM THE SAG PRESS RELEASE:

LOS ANGELES (September 30, 2009)—Newly minted Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard made his first public appearance in his official capacity Monday night. The event was a SAG American Indian membership caucus hosted by SAG National President’s Task Force on American Indians, and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity.

Howard’s remarks demonstrated his strong, personal commitment to diversity within the entertainment industry, which also has been an ongoing historical mission of Screen Actors Guild.

“”We all know the media does not accurately reflect the full range of the American Scene,” Howard said. And we all know we have not reached our goals for diverse portrayals or diverse casting.”

The president’s appearance served as a commencement of a wide variety of programs and initiatives honoring Screen Actors Guild’s Diversity Awareness Month in October. (Click here for a complete calendar of events.)

“By pulling together we can achieve a greater awareness and commitment to fair employment practices on the part of industry decision-makers and ultimately we will see expanded casting and hiring,” Howard told members.

But he noted that making strides is never easy.

Jaisey Bates, Vice-Chair, DeLanna Studi, National Chair, Ken Howard and Brian Wescott, Membership Caucus Subcommittee Chair
From left to right: Jaisey Bates, Vice-Chair, DeLanna Studi, National Chair, Ken Howard and Brian Wescott, Membership Caucus Subcommittee Chair

Howard related his own experiences in pitching The White Shadow to network television in the 1970s. The story chronicled the efforts of a white high school basketball coach working with a predominantly African American inner-city team. While the show was ultimately produced, achieving critical acclaim and syndication, there were initial concerns that audiences might not respond to a drama featuring so many non-Caucasian actors in major roles.

While views on diversity have evolved, there is more work to do and Screen Actors Guild members can help change attitudes, Howard said.

The audience, which included about a half dozen Writers Guild of America, West cardholders, also were empowered by a screening of a segment from the PBS miniseries Trail of Tears and subsequent panel discussion with casting director Rene Haynes, actor Russell Means, actor Tonantzin Carmelo, President’s National Task Force Chair Delanna Studi and SAG Affirmative Action Diversity National Director Rebecca Yee.

For more information about upcoming Diversity and Affirmative Action Events, check the Diversity page of SAG.org, or e-mail diversity@sag.org with questions.

SAG DECLARES OCTOBER 2009 "DIVERSITY AWARENESS MONTH"


FROM SAG'S PRESS RELEASE:

Month to Feature Special Events, Release of Diversity Casting Reports

Los Angeles (September 29, 2009) — Screen Actors Guild announced today that it has declared October “Diversity Awareness Month.” For decades, SAG has been a leader in advocating diverse hiring of underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, women, seniors, LGBT actors and performers with disabilities in the entertainment industry.

While the Guild works year round to advance issues of employment diversity, it is shining a spotlight during October on the efforts of its Affirmative Action & Diversity Department, as well as the union’s various diversity committees comprised of SAG members.

“Screen Actors Guild historically and consistently has strived for fairness and diversity both within our Guild and the industry at large,” said Interim National Executive Director David White.

“We are continuously working to make a difference toward a more representational, multicultural community,” White said. “I encourage all of our friends in the creative community to work toward a more diverse and accurate media landscape and invite them to participate in our diversity events in October and throughout the year.”

“Screen Actors Guild’s membership is made up of diverse actors,” said SAG Ethnic Employment Opportunities National Committee Chair Sumi Haru. “It is the media’s responsibility to be a reflection of its diverse audience and our members deserve a fair opportunity to be employed. While we’ve certainly seen improvements in this area over the years, SAG continues in its quest to fully make the media reflective of the American scene.”

In October, SAG will release various diversity-based reports and videos via SAG.org, including the highly anticipated Casting Data Report. This analysis of hiring statistics based on ethnicity/race, age and gender is an instrumental tool used by the entertainment industry.

“Diversity issues in the workplace, such as equal employment and representation as well as prevention of harassment and discrimination, impact all employees on a daily basis,” said National Director/Senior EEO Counsel of SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity Rebecca Yee.

The month features a dozen events either sponsored by SAG or where SAG members are participating in an effort to make visible those who are invisible in media. A full list of events is available online here.

SAG kicked off its celebration on Monday, Sept. 28 with the National President’s Task Force on American Indians Membership Caucus where SAG National President Ken Howard addressed the Guild’s American Indian membership.

Additional highlights of the month include:

Sept. 30 – Reading Between the Lines: Uncovering Unconscious Bias
Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of American West, Americans for American Values, Kirwan Institute and the Equal Justice Society present a panel discussion on unconscious bias and insights that challenge and inspire new ideas in developing and producing programming that reflects the true diversity of our rapidly changing society. Opening remarks by Norman Lear. Writers Guild of America, West, 7000 West Third Street, Los Angeles, California 90048, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 – Out in Hollywood III: The Rise of the LGBT Actor

In celebration of National Coming Out Day, SAG National LGBT Actors Committee and GLAAD present a panel of LGBT actors, director-producers and casting professionals to explore the challenges and opportunities of being out in entertainment. Featuring Mad Men’s Bryan Batt, Oscar-winner Dan Jinks, Emmy-winner Paris Barclay, and more. SAG James Cagney Board Room, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 & 11 – National Equality March in Washington, D.C.

SAG National LGBT Actors Committee leads a group of members, staff and allies marching for full federal equality for LGBT people.

Oct. 19 – 18th Annual Access Awards
Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will present an Access Award to the tri-union (SAG, AFTRA, AEA) I AM PWD campaign for its “leadership, commitment and outstanding contribution for advancing equality and access for people with disabilities.” Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens, Downtown Los Angeles

Oct. 24 – The Hollywood Disabilities Forum
The tri-union I AM PWD campaign, in partnership with WGAW Writers with Disabilities and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, presents an executive industry conference on accuracy, inclusion and access of people with disabilities in entertainment. UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents over 120,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

SAG ELECTION '09: HOWARD AND AQUINO WIN !!!


KEN HOWARD WINS SAG NATIONAL PRESIDENCY. AMY AQUINO WINS SECRETARY-TREASURER. MODERATES SHOW WELL IN ALL AREAS OF ELECTION.
LOW VOTER TURN-OUT. MEMBERSHIP FIRST DELIVERS 'NAMES' IN HOLLYWOOD BOARD RACE. UNITE FOR STRENGTH SHOWS GREATER STRENGTH IN HOLLYWOOD, NY AND THE RBD.

FROM THE SAG PRESS RELEASE:

Guild Also Announces Results of National Board Elections

Los Angeles (September 24, 2009)—Screen Actors Guild today announced results of elections for its top two elected positions. Ken Howard will serve as Screen Actors Guild president and Amy Aquino will serve as secretary-treasurer. Both will serve two-year terms beginning September 25.

Ballots were mailed to 99,485 paid-up SAG members on August 25, and 27,295 were tabulated today, for a return of 27.44 percent. Presidential candidates Ken Howard received 12,895 votes, with Anne-Marie Johnson coming in second with 8,906 votes, Seymour Cassel got 4,838 votes, and Asmar Muhammad received 402 votes.

DAVID WHITE SPEAKS:
“I’d like to be among the first to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our newly elected Screen Actors Guild national leadership. I look forward to working closely with our new president, Ken Howard, and new secretary-treasurer, Amy Aquino, as we focus on the wide range of critical issues facing our members in the coming year,” said SAG Interim National Executive Director David White. “I also extend my thanks, and the gratitude of SAG members and staff to Alan Rosenberg and Connie Stevens for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our union.”

KEN HOWARD SPEAKS:
“I am deeply honored to be chosen by the membership to lead the Screen Actors Guild,” said Ken Howard. “I campaigned on the promise that I’d do everything in my power to strengthen our position at the bargaining table by building a greater unity with AFTRA and the other entertainment unions, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. Despite the sharp differences that those of us active in Guild affairs sometimes have over strategy and tactics, we need to continually remind ourselves that we’re all on the same team, fighting for the same thing — and by pulling together, we’ll only grow stronger.”

AMY AQUINO SPEAKS:
“I am truly honored that the members have entrusted me with this responsibility,” said Amy Aquino. “Progress has already been made toward strengthening SAG’s finances and I want to make sure it continues. Only by fortifying SAG in this way can we hope to ensure the protections that performers need in these challenging times.”

Screen Actors Guild also announced election results for the National Board of Directors. Twenty-two of the 69 national board seats were open for election this year, representing Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood, New York and Regional Branch divisions.
“It is my privilege to welcome and congratulate our newly elected Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors for 2009-2010,” said White. “Along with our staff nationwide, I look forward to working with them to pursue a robust agenda as we navigate the Guild through these changing times.”


The National Board members elected today will assume office on September 25 for terms of three years.

SAG’s Hollywood Division elected eleven National Board members; the New York Division elected four National Board members; and seven National Board members were elected from the union’s branches in Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Portland and San Diego.

National Board members elected from the Hollywood Division: Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Elliott Gould, Ed Asner, Anne-Marie Johnson, Connie Stevens, Diane Ladd, Dulé Hill, Hill Harper, Nancy Travis, and Marcia Wallace (all three-year terms).


The following were elected to serve as National Board alternates and to the Hollywood Division Board of Directors (all one-year terms). Gabrielle Carteris, Jenny O’Hara, Michael O’Keefe, Clyde Kusatsu, Dawnn Lewis, Doug Savant, Michelle Allsopp, Alan Rosenberg, D. W. Moffett, Joe Bologna, Robert Hays, Jason George, L. Scott Caldwell, Clark Gregg, Patrick Fabian, Bill Smitrovich, Ellen Crawford, Stacey Travis, Mandy Steckelberg, Renee Taylor, Bernie Casey and John Carroll Lynch.


National Board members elected from the New York Division: Sharon Washington, Monica Trombetta, Sam Freed and Liz Zazzi (all three-year terms). Additionally, New York Division members elected Mike Hodge as NY Division President.


The following were elected to serve as national board alternates and to the New York Division board of directors (all one-year terms.) Manny Alfaro, Sheila Head, Marc Baron, Joe Narciso, Jay Potter, Dave Bachman, John Rothman, Kevin Scullin and Justin Barrett.
National Board members elected from the Regional Branch Division: John Carter Brown (Chicago – three-year term), David Hartley-Margolin (Colorado – three-year term), Dave Corey (Florida – three-year term), Scott Rogers (Hawaii – three-year term), Helen McNutt (Philadelphia – three-year term), Mary McDonald-Lewis (Portland – three-year term), Don Ahles (San Diego – three-year term).


Ballots for all eligible SAG members in Hollywood and New York were mailed on August 25 with a September 24 return deadline and were tabulated today by the independent election company Integrity Voting Systems. A total of 13,718 ballots were tabulated in the Hollywood Division (representing 25.25 percent of ballots mailed in the Hollywood Division) and 5,997 ballots were tabulated in the New York Division (representing 26.11 percent of ballots mailed in the New York Division). The number of ballots returned in the Regional Branch elections varied by region.

SAG ELECTION '09: STATEMENTS FROM KEN HOWARD AND AMY AQUINO

KEN HOWARD'S STATEMENT:


I am deeply honored to be chosen by the membership to lead the Screen Actors Guild. I campaigned on the promise that I’d do everything in my power to strengthen our position at the bargaining table by building greater unity with AFTRA and the other entertainment unions – and that’s exactly what I intend to do. But SAG can’t reach out effectively to other unions, let alone stand strong in negotiations with our employers, if we aren’t united within our own ranks.


Despite the sharp differences that those of us active in Guild affairs sometimes have over strategy and tactics, it’s clear to me that we all have the same goal: getting members the best employment terms possible. It’s a goal we’re passionate about achieving, which is why our differences are frequently so heated. But with so much at stake now for performers, we have to find a way to harness our passions to strengthen SAG rather than divide and weaken it. We need to continually remind ourselves that we’re all on the same team, fighting for the same
thing – and by pulling together, we’ll only grow stronger.

I’d like to congratulate Anne-Marie Johnson on her campaign. Anne-Marie is one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable and articulate advocates within SAG leadership, and her campaign demonstrated that. In the end, members decided on a leadership approach for the Guild different than the one she offered. But Anne-Marie’s re-election to a national board seat reflects the value many members place on her contributions to SAG. I look forward to working with her as we move ahead.

I also want to congratulate everyone elected to board and officer positions in New York and throughout our Regional Branches, as well as our new Secretary-Treasurer, Amy Aquino, and all the candidates elected to the board from Hollywood.

AMY AQUINO'S STATEMENT:

I am truly honored that the members have entrusted me with this responsibility. Progress has already been made toward strengthening SAG’s finances and I want to make sure it continues. I look forward to working with David White, CFO Arianna Ozzanto, other elected members and staff to build SAG’s resources and improve the outlook for the future. Only by fortifying SAG in this way can we hope to ensure the protections that performers need in these challenging times.


I offer my thanks to Connie Stevens for her years of dedicated service. Along with building SAG’s fiscal strength, I look forward to working with our new president Ken Howard and all the Guild’s elected leaders to build consensus and to prove what a truly united Screen Actors Guild can do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SAG ELECTIONS '09: PHILADELPHIA RESULTS

From SAG's press release:

Dear Philadelphia Branch Members:
On September 22, 2009, Screen Actors Guild announced the election results for the Philadelphia Branch elections.
Philadelphia Branch President Tom McCarthy, Branch Vice President Sylvia Kauders, Secretary Harvey Jaffe, Treasurer Gail Lewis, and current Council Members at Large Donna Dundan, Deborah Carn and Tom McNutt welcome the following newly elected candidates to the Philadelphia Branch:
Helen McNutt / National Board Director / three-year termSara Jane Blazo / Council Member at Large / two-year termPatricia Cray / Council Member at Large / two-year termHarvey Jaffe / Council Member at Large / two-year termSylvia Kauders / Council Member at Large / two-year termAdrienne Wehr / Council Member at Large / two-year termJohn Wooten / Council Member at Large / two-year term
Those members elected as Council Members at Large may also be selected as Alternate National Directors who may be called upon to serve at National Board Meetings when the National Board member from the Philadelphia Branch is unavailable to attend.
The newly elected leaders will assume office on September 25, 2009.

SAG ELECTION '09: SEATTLE RESULTS

From the SAG press release:


Dear Seattle Branch Members:
On September 22, 2009 Screen Actors Guild announced the election results for the Seattle Branch Elections.
Current Council Members at Large Jim Gall, Gary Schwartz, Laura Kenny and Alex Terzieff along with National Director Abby Dylan welcome the following newly elected candidates to the Seattle Branch:
John Patrick Lowrie / President / two-year termMaggie Stenson / Secretary-Treasurer / two-year termDick Arnold / Council Member at Large / two-year termSusan Connors / Council Member at Large / two-year termRon Holstrom / Council Member at Large AK / two-year term
Those members elected as Officers and Council Members at Large will also be elected as Alternate National Directors who may be called upon to serve at National Board Meetings when the National Board member from the Seattle Branch is unavailable to attend.
The newly elected leaders will assume office on September 25, 2009.

SAG ELECTIONS '09: REGIONAL BRANCH DIVISON NEWS

Reports have been coming in regarding election results for the Regional Branches.

At post-time, here's what we know:

SEATTLE: John Patrick Lowrie wins Regional Branch Presidency.

SAN DIEGO: Don Ahles wins and retains RBD Presidency in San Diego.

PHILADELPHIA: Helen McNutt is re-elected.

No official breakdowns or statements yet. We'll post them as they come in.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

REGIONAL BRANCH MEMBER ALERT: GET INVOLVED!

From SAG's press release:

There are a variety of ways in which a member can serve the Union and committee service is a great way to lend your talents, experience and knowledge of the industry to benefit the Guild and its members.

If you are interested in serving your Union, you are encouraged to complete the appropriate Committee Service Request Form for your Division and return it to the Regional Branch Division Office of Administration via email, fax, mail or in person. Once the completed form is received, the request will be forwarded to the appropriate Committee Chair for consideration. You will be notified by the Guild in November if you have been selected for service.

With the exception of a few committees, all committees are reconstituted following the Guild’s annual elections in September. Therefore, if you wish to be considered for service in the 2009-2010 Committee Year, please submit the appropriate Committee Service Request Form by September 30, 2009.

On the SAG Committee’s section of the website, you will also find information on the Guild’s committee structure as well as lists of committees and descriptions. If you have any further questions, we are here to help! Please contact Lisha Brock for more information at (972) 361-8185 or by email at lisha.brock@sag.org.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

KEN HOWARD WINS EMMY!--VIDEO UPDATE--




UPDATED, MONDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER, 2009


(Sunday, 20 Sept. 2009) Ken Howard, SAG candidate for National president, wins Emmy for HBO's "Grey Gardens"! This was his first win.


Ken Howard won the supporting actor award for the HBO mini-series. He told reporters afterward that he hoped that the miniseries would make a comeback in television. Said Howard, "You get a long time to devote to the character. It's a great form, and I hope it comes back. It's great for actors and great for the audience."


The evening also marked the anniversary of his wife's birthday, to whom he dedicated the win.



Friday, September 18, 2009

WGA WEST ELECTION RESULTS

Final Results of 2009 Officers and Board of Directors Election
From the WGA-W Press Release:

LOS ANGELES -- The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has announced the final results of its 2009 WGAW Officers and Board of Directors election.

The following members were elected to serve as Officers: President – John Wells; Vice President – Tom Schulman; Secretary-Treasurer – David N. Weiss.

"I'm remarkably humbled by the membership returning me to the Presidency of the Guild. I look forward to working with the Board again and to working with David Young and his talented staff to meet the many challenges that lie ahead,” said Wells.

“My congratulations to John Wells for his success in a hard-fought campaign. And my congratulations to all members elected to the board. We writers can be somewhat argumentative and opinionated, as anyone who has ever sat around a writers’ table knows. This campaign certainly highlighted some our differences. Now, it's time to pull together and work for the benefit of us all,” said Elias Davis.

The following nine members were elected to the WGAW’s Board of Directors: Patric M. Verrone, Howard A. Rodman (inc.), Dan Wilcox (inc.), Linda Burstyn, Billy Ray, Steven Schwartz, Chip Johannessen, Carleton Eastlake, Ian Deitchman.

There was a tie for the eighth seat on the Board of Directors. Under the Guild’s constitution, both candidates will be seated.

NUMERICAL RESULTS: President: John Wells (1,191, 52.8%); Vice President: Tom Schulman (1,204, 55.5%), Secretary-Treasurer: David N. Weiss (1,114, 53.3%). Board of Directors: Patric M. Verrone (1,364, 10.1%), Howard A. Rodman (1, 270, 9.4%), Dan Wilcox (1,132, 8.4%), Linda Burstyn (953, 7.1%), Billy Ray (915, 6.8%), Steven Schwartz (914, 6.8%), Chip Johannessen (865, 6.4%), Carleton Eastlake (818, 6.1%), Ian Deitchman (818, 6.1%).

The Officers and Board members will serve for a term of two years, effective immediately.

OTHER RESULTS: Candidates for Officers: President: Elias Davis (1,066, 47.2%); Vice President: Howard Michael Gould (967, 44.5%); Secretary-Treasurer: Christopher Keyser (976, 46.7%). Candidates for members of the Board of Directors: Mick Betancourt (766, 5.7%), Jeff Lowell (745, 5.5%), Jan Oxenberg (725, 5.4%), Luvh Rakhe (636, 4.7%), David Wyatt (511, 3.8%), Jennifer Heath (437, 3.2%), Eric Wallace (273, 2.0%), Jed Weintrob (239, 1.8%).

A total of 2,348 valid ballots were cast, making this one of the largest election voter turnouts in WGAW history – illustrating ongoing Guild member engagement. The ballot count was supervised by Robbin Johnson of Pacific Election Services, Inc., an independent firm.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.

WGA EAST ELECTION RESULTS

ELECTION RESULTS WGA-EAST: THOSE WHO PUT WORDS IN ACTOR'S AND PERFORMERS MOUTHS.

September 18, 2009


Michael Winship, running unopposed, senior writer for "Bill Moyers Journal," has been re-elected to a second term as President of the WGAE. Bob Schneider, a television and screen writer, was re-elected to a second term as Vice President.


Gail Lee,running unopposed, a writer/producer at CBS News, was re-elected to her seventh term as Secretary-Treasurer. The terms begin immediately and run through September 2011.

THE STATS--HOW IT BREAKS DOWN
427 valid ballots cast in the election.Bob Schneider received 230 votes (53.9%) versus vice presidential candidates Tom Phillips, who received 118 votes (27.6 %) and Ambrose J. Raftery, who received 39 votes (9.1%).

AFTRA: "NO WORK RULE" IN EFFECT FOR NICKELODEON



FROM AFTRA ON 9/17/09


Important Notice to AFTRA Members and AFTRA Franchised Agents:
No Contract, No Work Rule In Effect for Commercials Produced by Nickelodeon
Please be advised that Nickelodeon is not signed to the AFTRA Television Commercials Contract or the AFTRA Radio Commercials Contract.



Although AFTRA has collective bargaining agreements with Nickelodeon covering other types of programs, members are prohibited from accepting employment for commercial services by Nickelodeon or by any other employer, unless that employer is signatory to the applicable AFTRA TV or Radio Commercials Contract.



Please be reminded that AFTRA members may not accept employment in commercials, whether for broadcast, cable or the Internet, unless the employer is signed to the AFTRA Television Commercials Contract or the AFTRA Radio Commercials Contract. (AFTRA members are also permitted to work under the SAG TV Commercials Contract.)



Franchised Talent Agents should check and verify the signatory status of an employer who seeks to engage their AFTRA member clients for services in a broadcast, cable or Internet commercial.
If you have questions about this notice, about the signatory status of an employer, or about whether a particular project is commercial in nature rather than a covered program or promo, please contact your nearest AFTRA office.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I AM PWD CAMPAIGN ENDORSED BY AFL-CIO CONVENTION



AFL-CIO Convention Delegates Pass Resolution 18 Endorsing theI AM PWD Campaign of AEA, AFTRA and SAG


from SAG's Press Release:



Pittsburgh (September 16, 2009) – I AM PWD — the Inclusion in the Arts and Media for People with Disabilities campaign of Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild — was today endorsed by the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention delegates through Convention Resolution 18, entitled “Unions Should Give People with Disabilities a Voice and a Face.”



“It’s the dawn of a new day for workers with disabilities,” said I AM PWD national chair and SAG/AFTRA/AEA member Robert David Hall, who appeared before the more than 700 convention delegates to urge the passage of Resolution 18. “We are overjoyed that our I AM PWD campaign has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO Convention delegates, but even more meaningful is this loud show of support and solidarity from our brothers and sisters in the national labor movement.”



AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt-Baker said, “The AFL-CIO is proud of our progress toward diversity in our leadership, especially when it comes to race, gender and sexual orientation, but the fact is that workers with disabilities are not yet fully included in the life, work and leadership of our labor movement. We took action today to begin to change that, and to work toward full equality for people with disabilities in American life.” AFL-CIO Convention Resolution 18 pledges, “The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions endorse and support the I AM PWD campaign and invite SAG, AFTRA and Equity to share its lessons.”



Beyond its endorsement of the I AM PWD campaign, Resolution 18 also declares the AFL-CIO’s intention to “make itself a model by including people with disabilities in all discussions addressing diversity and by encouraging the labor movement at all levels to do the same.”




About I AM PWD: I AM PWD is a global civil rights campaign seeking equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the entertainment and news media. I AM PWD was founded by members of Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association to bring media and public attention to the issues of media access, inclusion and accuracy for people with disabilities. You can visit I AM PWD online at IAMPWD.org.

HENRY GIBSON 1935-2009



Henry Gibson, the beloved character actor best known for his role reciting offbeat poetry on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," has died. He was 73.



Gibson died Monday, September 14, 2009, at his home in Malibu after a brief battle with cancer.



After serving in the Air Force and studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Gibson — born James Bateman in Germantown, Pa., in 1935 — created his Henry Gibson comic persona, a pun on playwright Henrik Ibsen's name, while working as a theater actor in New York. For three seasons on "Laugh-In," he delivered satirical poems while gripping a giant flower.



After "Laugh-In," Gibson went on to appear in several films, including "The Long Goodbye" and "Nashville," which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. His most memorable roles included playing the menacing neighbor opposite Tom Hanks in "The 'Burbs," the befuddled priest in "Wedding Crashers" and voicing Wilbur the Pig in the animated "Charlotte's Web."



His recent work included playing cantankerous Judge Clarence Brown on ABC's "Boston Legal" for five seasons and providing the voice of sardonic, eye-patched reporter Bob Jenkins on Fox's "King of the Hill." In 2001, Gibson returned to the stage in New York in the Encores! New York City Center production of Rodgers and Hart's "A Connecticut Yankee."



Gibson is survived by three sons and two grandchildren.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

AFTRA PREZ REARDON ELECTED AFL-CIO V.P. FOR NATIONAL COUNCIL




AFTRA President Reardon Elected AFL-CIO Vice President to Serve on Executive Council


From the AFTRA Press Release:

PITTSBURGH (September 16, 2009)---Roberta Reardon, National President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), released this statement today following her nomination and election to a seat on the AFL-CIO Executive Council and the election of Richard L. Trumka as president of the AFL-CIO: "I am profoundly honored to have been elected to serve on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation representing more than 11 million workers in 56 national and international labor unions. I would like to thank IATSE President Matt Loeb for his nomination and President Trumka for his support. I am deeply grateful to my fellow AFL-CIO Convention delegates for the honor of electing and entrusting me with this incredible responsibility. I look forward to serving on the Executive Council as a new opportunity to represent not only the members of my union, AFTRA, but all working men, women and children in the American labor movement.

"On behalf of the 70,000 members of AFTRA, I am delighted to congratulate Richard L. Trumka on his election as the new AFL-CIO President. As AFTRA members witnessed first-hand when then Secretary-Treasurer Trumka addressed our delegates at this summer's AFTRA Convention in Chicago, he is an effective, experienced and inspiring leader.

"President Trumka's impressive career in organized labor, first with the United Mine Workers of America as a staff attorney, board member and ultimately as their president, followed by his distinguished service as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO since 1995, make him an excellent choice for AFL-CIO President. His knowledge of the diverse issues facing working men, women and children, and AFTRA members in particular - from the Employee Free Choice Act, the Performance Rights Act, meaningful health care reform, Internet piracy and media consolidation to the importance of protecting quality journalism and diversity in the workplace, make him exactly the kind of tough and visionary leader to propel the American Labor movement forward in the 21st century.

"We look forward to working closely with the dynamic team of President Trumka, Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler as we work together to guide union members, and all Americans, back to the path of economic success and the bright future we all deserve.

"We extend our deep and heartfelt appreciation to outgoing AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney, for his courageous leadership and dedicated service during some of the most challenging years that working Americans have ever faced. Without his leadership, we would not be able to stand united with hope for our future. Whether airline pilots or nurses; longshoremen or administrative professionals; or performers, recording artists and broadcast journalists, the working families of America have had, and will continue to have, a strong advocate in our friend John Sweeney."

The AFL-CIO is governed by a quadrennial convention at which all federation members are represented by elected delegates of our unions. Convention delegates set broad policies and goals for the union movement and every four years elect the AFL-CIO officers-the president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president and 43 vice presidents.

These officers make up the AFL-CIO Executive Council, which guides the daily work of the federation. The AFL-CIO Executive Council meets at least twice a year to consider important union movement business and policies. The council regularly issues statements on legislative measures affecting the interests of working families, ongoing struggles for justice for workers and more. An AFL-CIO General Board includes the Executive Council members, a chief officer of each affiliated union and the trade and industrial departments created by the AFL-CIO constitution and four regional representatives of the state federations. The General Board takes up matters referred to it by the Executive Council.

About AFTRA: The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com/.

SAG MEMBERS: HOLLYWOOD DISABILITIES FORUM IN OCTOBER


FROM SAG 9/15/09

ATTENTION PERFORMERS WITH DISABILITIES
Seeking Submissions for Actors Master Class
at Hollywood Disabilities Forum
October 24, 2009

I AM PWD* – Inclusion in the Arts and Media of People With Disabilities – in partnership with WGAW Writers with Disabilities Committee and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, will host an executive industry conference on accuracy and inclusion of and access for people with disabilities in entertainment on Saturday, October 24, 2009.

SEEKING PERFORMERS:
A portion of the Hollywood Disabilities Forum will include an Actors Master Class for performers with disabilities. April Webster of April Webster and Associates Casting will be selecting performers to participate who will then be paired with another performer and given a short scene to memorize and rehearse before the class. The scenes will then be presented on the day of the forum, with highly-regarded actors and/or directors in the industry who will work with the actors in front of an invited audience of fellow performers and industry professionals. The dual purposes of the class is to provide awareness to industry decision makers of the wealth of untapped professional disabled actors out there ready to work, while the performers are given invaluable instruction in their craft.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBMITTING:
Eligibility requirements: You must be a performer with a disability and a member in good standing of Actors’ Equity Association, AFTRA or SAG.

Submission deadline: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 no later than 4 p.m.

· ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS AND HAND-DELIVERIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER SEPTEMBER 23.
· MAILED SUBMISSIONS POSTMARKED AFTER SEPTEMBER 23 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Submission guidelines:
· Please submit ONE headshot and resume along with a cover letter.
· If necessary, please indicate any accommodations you may need in your cover letter.
· Please do not submit DVDs, CDs, reels, or audio files.
· You can submit via email, via mail or via hand-delivery—follow the instructions below:
Email: You can email your headshot, resume and cover letter to diversity@sag.org

SAG members can also submit their iActor profile by emailing it to: diversity@sag.org
Please include your cover letter in the body of the email message.

Performers who have profiles on Breakdown Services http://www.breakdownservices.com/ or Actor Access http://www.actorsaccess.com/ are able to submit via email by sending it to diversity@sag.org

REGULAR MAIL:
Screen Actors Guild
Affirmative Action & Diversity
Attn: I AM PWD Actors Master Class
5757 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

DROP-OFF SITES (no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23):
Please feel free to hand-deliver your headshot, resume and cover letter to any of these locations during regular business hours:

Actors’ Equity Association Actors’ Equity Association
Attn: IAMPWD Actors Master Class Attn: IAMPWD Actors Master Class
6755 Hollywood Blvd. 165 W 46th Street
5th floor (entrance on McCadden Place) New York, NY 10036
Hollywood, CA 90028

AFTRA AFTRA
Attn: IAMPWD Actors Master Class Attn: IAMPWD Actors Master Class
5757 Wilshire Blvd. – 9th Floor 260 Madison Avenue – 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036 New York, NY 10016

Screen Actors Guild Screen Actors Guild
Affirmative Action & Diversity Affirmative Action & Diversity
Attn: IAMPWD Actors Master Class Attn: IAMPWD Actors Master Class
5757 Wilshire Blvd. – 7th Floor 360 Madison Avenue – 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036 New York, NY 10017

Performers selected to audition will be contacted no later than Tuesday, September 29 and must be available for auditions on Friday, October 1 or Thursday, October 2.
Final selections will be made the week of October 5.
MUST BE AVAILABLE on Saturday, October 24 in Los Angeles, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for the Actors Master Class.

Please call (323-549-6644) or email (diversity@sag.org) us with any questions.

THANK YOU!

*I AM PWD is a national civil rights campaign seeking equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the entertainment and news media. I AM PWD was founded by members of Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association to bring media and public attention to the issues of media access, inclusion and accuracy for people with disabilities.

AFTRA: 34 MILLION REASONS WHY BEING UNION MATTERS


From the AFTRA Press release: 34.4 Million Reasons Why Being Union Matters


As reported at the 2009 AFTRA National Convention, AFTRA recovered more than $34.4 million in claims and H&R contributions for AFTRA members since the last Convention in the summer of 2007.


This is real money that your union has pursued against employers and returned to AFTRA members. Although most of these claims were initiated by the union office through AFTRA’s normal enforcement and compliance efforts, some claims were initiated based on information we receive from you – the members – about late payments or payments not received at all, or discrepancies between your AFTRA H&R Earnings Report and your pay stubs, or seeing your commercial or TV show re-run but not receiving your residual.


As a professional performer or journalist, stay vigilant and keep track of your earnings. Learn about what your AFTRA contract guarantees. Check your payments against your own records and time sheets. If you notice a mistake or have any questions, contact your AFTRA office right away, and we’ll help you figure it out.


In this economy, every dollar counts, and AFTRA is here to help make sure that you and your family get all the money and benefits you deserve.


Learn more at http://www.aftra.com/

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BETTY WHITE TO RECEIVE 2009 SAG LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD







FROM THE SAG PRESS RELEASE ON 9/15/09:

46th Annual Accolade to be Presented During the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Simulcast on TNT and TBS on Saturday, January 23, 2010

Los Angeles, California (September 15, 2009) – Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced today beloved comedienne, pioneering television producer, host, author and animal advocate Betty White, will receive the Guild’s most prestigious accolade—the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. White will be presented the Award, given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” at the “16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®”, which premieres live on TNT and TBS Saturday, January 23, 2010, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT and 6 p.m. MT.

In making today’s announcement, Screen Actors Guild National President Alan Rosenberg said, “Whether creating some of television’s most indelible characters, plunging into film roles with joyous gusto or perfecting the art of the quip as a television panelist and host, Betty White has entertained audiences with her impeccable comic timing and remarkable wit for more than sixty years. Her lifelong devotion to the welfare of animals, manifest in her work as an author, producer and philanthropist, is further evidence of her tremendous humanity and meaningful contributions in so many important areas. Screen Actors Guild is honored to celebrate Betty White’s extraordinary achievements over the course of an exemplary life.”

On the morning she was asked to accept Screen Actors Guild’s highest honor, White was headed to the set of the Disney feature “You Again,” starring Kristen Bell (as her granddaughter), Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Kristin Chenowith. Earlier this summer, White played Ryan Reynold’s scene-stealing Grandma Annie in the chart-topping Sandra Bullock romantic comedy “The Proposal.” She is currently heard in theatres voicing the elderly Yoshie in Oscar-winner Hayao Miyazaki’s animated adventure “Ponyo.”

Betty Marion White was born January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill., the only child of Horace, an electrical engineer, and Tess, a housewife. The family moved to California when White was 2. After graduating Beverly Hills High School, White made her professional debut at the Bliss Hayden Little Theatre and landed parts in such popular radio shows as "Blondie," "The Great Gildersleeve" and "This Is Your FBI." Her first radio program, "The Betty White Show," followed. Her big break came in 1949, when she joined Al Jarvis’ five-and-a-half-hour, six-days-a-week live KLAC-TV variety show, “Hollywood on Television.” Starting out as Jarvis’ “Girl Friday,” White inherited the show’s hosting duties for two more years when Jarvis left in 1952.
The same year she formed Bandy Productions with producer Don Fedderson and writer George Tibbles. Spinning off characters from a “Hollywood on Television” sketch, they created the domestic comedy “Life with Elizabeth,” White received her first of six Emmys. Syndication brought the program to national audiences through the mid-’50s. The series made White one of only a few women with creative control before and behind the camera in television’s early years. White went on to produce and host a daily NBC talk/variety skein “The Betty White Show,” garnering a Daytime Emmy nomination. Her second situation comedy, “A Date with the Angels,” premiered in 1957, then evolved into another eponymous comedy/variety showcase.

White’s sly ribald humor made her an audience favorite on the late-night circuit, not only matching wits with Jack Paar (more than 70 appearances) Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson (including many “Mighty Carson Art Players” performances) but also subbing for all three as guest host. Her clever spontaneity also earned her spots on numerous game and talk shows, such as “The Match Game,” “To Tell the Truth,” “I’ve Got A Secret” “Liar’s Club” and especially “Password,” whose host Allen Ludden she married in 1963 after a persistent two-year courtship.
When White and Ludden’s pals, actor Mary Tyler Moore and her producer/husband Grant Tinker, were casting about for a cloyingly sweet “Betty White-type” to guest star on their hit “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” they ultimately decided to go with the real deal. White’s 1973 guest shot as the saccharinely catty, man-hungry “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens was White’s entrée into one of television’s most iconic ensembles. The role relaunched White’s acting career and earned her back-to-back supporting actress Emmy and then a fourth Emmy nomination.

After the series’ historic final episode in 1977, MTM created “The Betty White Show,” with White playing the second-rate star of a TV police drama. After its brief run, White guest-starred in the miniseries “The Place to Be” (1979) and such telefilms as “With this Ring,” (1978) “Before and After” (1979) and “The Gossip Columnist,” (1980), before breaking ground as TV’s first female game show host on NBC’s “Just Men.” Drawing on the lascivious persona perfected as Sue Ann Nivens, White earned the first and only Daytime Emmy for Best Game Show Host awarded to a female emcee. A second Daytime Emmy nomination followed in 1984.
1983 also saw White begin a three-year recurring stint on Vicki Lawrence’s “Mama’s Family,” reprising the role of social climber Ellen Harper Jackson she’d created in sketches on “The Carol Burnett Show” in the early ‘70s.

In 1985, at 63, White began what became the most lauded role of her career, the sweetly naïve Minnesotan Rose Nylund on NBC’s Saturday night hit “The Golden Girls.” White, along with co-stars Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan, proved that great comedy transcended age, as did the series’ stellar ratings and countless honors including, for White, a first-year lead actress Emmy, six subsequent nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. She was to reprise the role of Rose on three other series: “Empty Nest” (1989, 1992), “Nurses” (1991) and “The Golden Palace” (1992–93).

In 1991 White starred opposite Leslie Nielsen in the romantic NBC telefilm “Chance of a Lifetime” and subsequently shone in a variety of series, including with Bob Newhart in “Bob” (1993) and as Marie Osmond’s mother in “Maybe This Time” (1995). She won her fourth Emmy for her guest starring self-caricature on “The John Larroquette Show” (1996) and earned more Emmy nominations for guest roles on “Suddenly Susan” (1997) and “Yes, Dear” (2003). She played Alfred Molina’s mother in “Ladies Man” from 1991-2001 and recurred in “That 70’s Show” in 2002-2003. A 2007 TV Land Awards parody entitled “Ugly Betty White” led to a subsequent guest appearance as herself on the spoof’s target, “Ugly Betty,” with White going head-to-head over a taxi with Vanessa Williams’ Wilhelmina Slater. Other television guest appearances include “St. Elsewhere,” “The Ellen Show,” “Everwood,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Joey” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” She has voiced animated characters on “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “The Wild Thornberrys” “Father of the Pride” and “Family Guy” and in the feature “Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale.” White’s more recent films for television include “Annie’s Point” in 2005 for the Hallmark Channel, “Stealing Christmas” in 2003 for USA “The Retrievers” in 2001 for Animal Planet.

With “The Practice” in 2004, White once again turned one-shot casting into gold. Her guest turn as conniving blackmailer Catherine Piper led not only to another Emmy nomination but also to a recurring return for White as Catherine on the subsequent David E. Kelley series “Boston Legal” (2005–2008). In 1999, White had guest-starred for Kelley on “Ally McBeal,” earning an American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series, and starred in his horror-film send-up “Lake Placid.” Her 2009 guest performance as the Crazy Witch Lady on “My Name is Earl” earned White her eighteenth Emmy nomination.
White returned to the big screen in 2003 in the comedy “Bringing Down the House,” opposite Steve Martin and Queen Latifah and appeared in this year’s “Love N’ Dancing.”Earlier films include “Hard Rain” (1998) with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater; “Dennis the Menace Strikes Again,” (1998), playing Mrs. Wilson opposite Don Rickles; and Rob Reiner’s “The Story of Us.” (1999).

In December 2006, White joined the daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Ann Douglas, long-lost mother of matriarch Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery). She has appeared 19 times since, most recently in October 2008.

White narrated network telecasts of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade from 1954 to 1974 and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for 10 years.

Honors have been bestowed on White throughout her career. In 1976 she was awarded the Pacific Pioneers in Broadcasting Golden Ike Award and the GeniI Award from the American Women in Radio and TV. She was honored with the American Comedy Award for Funniest Female in 1987 and their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. In 1995 she was inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame. In 2006 she was profiled by the Paley Center for Media as part of their “She Made It” initiative honoring women creating television and radio. In August of 2009 she received a Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association. She was presented with a Disney Legends Award on September 10, 2009.

White’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame rests adjacent to that of her late husband Allen Ludden, who sadly succumbed to cancer in 1981.

White’s devotion to the health and welfare of animals has been a passion since childhood. She is president emeritus of the Morris Animal Foundation and has been a trustee since 1971. She first learned about the Foundation’s support of research studies to protect, treat and cure animals while creating, producing and hosting “The Pet Set,” the 1970-71 syndicated series featuring celebrities and their pets. She received the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Humane Award in 1987. A member of the board of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association since 1974, she served as a Zoo Commissioner for eight years. In February 2066 White was honored by the City of Los Angeles with a bronze plaque placed next to the Gorilla Exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo naming her “Ambassador to the Animals” for her life-long work for animal welfare. In 2007 Western University Veterinary School awarded her an honorary “Doctor of Humane Veterinary Sciences.”

Three of her five books directly connect to this passion: “Betty White’s Pet Love: How Pets Take Care of Us” (1983) and two co-authored with Tom Sullivan: “The Leading Lady: Dinah’s Story“ (1991) and “Together: A Story of Shared Vision” (2008). She published her first autobiography, “Betty White in Person,” in 1987, which was followed by “Here We Go Again: My Life in Television” in 1995. That life continues to unfold new chapters.

“The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards” will be produced by Jeff Margolis Productions in association with Screen Actors Guild Awards®, LLC. Jeff Margolis is the executive producer and director. Kathy Connell is the producer. JoBeth Williams, Daryl Anderson, Scott Bakula, Shelley Fabares and Paul Napier are producers for SAG. Gloria Fujita O’Brien and Mick McCullough are supervising producers. Benn Fleishman is executive in charge of production. More information is available online at http://www.sagawards.org/.

Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 120,000 actors who work in film and digital theatrical motion pictures, television programs, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. Headquartered in Los Angeles, SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. More information is available online at http://www.sag.org/.

TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such original comedy series as "My Boys," "The Bill Engvall Show," Tyler Perry's “House of Payne" and “Meet the Browns,” as well as the upcoming “Neighbors from Hell”; late-night series like the upcoming “Lopez Tonight,” starring George Lopez and “The Very Funny Show,” hosted by Tim Meadows; hot contemporary comedies like "The Office," "My Name is Earl," "Family Guy” and "Seinfeld"; specials like "Funniest Commercials of the Year"; special events, including star-studded comedy festivals in Chicago and Las Vegas; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.

Turner Network Television (TNT), one of cable's top-rated networks, is television's destination for drama and home to such original series as the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama "The Closer," starring Kyra Sedgwick; "Saving Grace," starring Holly Hunter; "Raising the Bar," with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; "Leverage," starring Timothy Hutton; “HawthoRNe,” with Jada Pinkett Smith; and “Dark Blue” starring Dylan McDermott. TNT also presents such powerful dramas, such as "Bones," "Cold Case," "Law & Order," "Without a Trace," "ER" and "Charmed"; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the “Screen Actors Guild Awards®”; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

PAUL BURKE 1926-2009


Naked City star Paul Burke gone at 83.


Paul Burke, who shot to stardom as Detective Adam Flint in the groundbreaking police drama Naked City has died from leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma at his home in Palm Springs, California, September 13th, 2009.


Born in New Orleans in 1926, Burke enjoyed a four decade career in TV and film. Burke made his way to Hollywood at the age of 19, where he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. In his early days in Hollywood, Burke managed to get small roles in features, but his real success would be in television in the 1950's and 60's. In 1960 he was cast in Naked City, a police series filmed in New York. Other series include Twelve O'Clock High, The Adventures of Superman, Highway Patrol, Dragnet and many others. Feature films include The Thomas Crown Affair and Valley of the Dolls. Remaining active in television, Burke joined the cast of Dynasty in the 1980s. In addition to his wife Lyn, Burke is survived by his three children from his first marriage.

PATRICK SWAYZE 1952-2009




After fighting pancreatic cancer since early 2008, the star of Dirty Dancing, Ghost, and Roadhouse, passed away on September 14th, 2009.
Visit his international fan club here: www.patrickswayze.net

Monday, September 14, 2009

VOTE IN THE '09 SAG ELECTIONS! TIME IS RUNNING OUT!


ONLY 11 DAYS LEFT BEFORE BALLOTS DUE!


VOTE! GET YOUR VOTES IN THE MAIL ASAP OR THEY WON'T MAKE IT IN TIME FOR THE SEPTEMBER 24TH DEADLINE!


If you lost your ballot or make an error, you MAY request a replacement ballot. Contact the Screen Actors Guild by telephone at 323-549-6458 or by email at replacementballot@sagDOTorg to request a replacement ballot. The deadline for requesting a replacement ballot is 12:00p.m. (PDT) on Monday, September 21, 2009.
BE SURE TO MAIL YOUR BALLOT IMMEDIATELY.


Your ballot must be received via U.S. Mail at the Los Angeles Post Office Box by 6:30 a.m. (PDT) Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SAG CONDUCTS MEMBER SURVEY ON NEW MEDIA


SAG SURVEY RUNS THRU SPRING '09.

TELL SAG ABOUT YOUR NEW MEDIA WORK EXPERIENCES.

Hollywood, Sept. 12, 2009


From The Screen Actors Guild announcement of Sept. 10th, 2009:


With your participation, this member response tool (available until spring) will deliver the most current snapshot of the Guild’s involvement in new media entertainment. The resulting data will be crucial to identifying the effects of the TV/Theatrical Contract ratified earlier this year and to informing the next round of negotiations, slated for fall 2010.

This brief multiple-choice survey is completely anonymous. It also includes opportunities to elaborate on your work experiences, should you wish.

Don’t delay. Your responses will be invaluable in the next Wages and Working Conditions process, which begins formally in 2010!


Paid up SAG members visit http://www.sag.org/ for more information and to take the survey.

Friday, September 11, 2009

SEPTEMBER 11, 2009


Remembering those lost on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A NEW VIDEO MESSAGE FROM KEN HOWARD

SAG ELECTIONS '09
A NEW VIDEO MESSAGE FROM KEN HOWARD

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

AND NOW, A MESSAGE FROM HUMPHREY BOGART


"If this election ends and you didn't vote,
you'll regret it.
Maybe not today.
Maybe not tomorrow,
but soon, and for the rest of your life."



VOTE! GET YOUR VOTES IN THE MAIL ASAP OR THEY WON'T MAKE IT IN TIME FOR THE SEPTEMBER 24TH DEADLINE!
If you lost your ballot or make an error, you MAY request a replacement ballot. Contact the Screen Actors Guild by telephone at 323-549-6458 or by email at replacementballot@sagDOTorg to request a replacement ballot. The deadline for requesting a replacement ballot is 12:00p.m. (PDT) on Monday, September 21, 2009.
BE SURE TO MAIL YOUR BALLOT IMMEDIATELY. Your ballot must be received via U.S. Mail at the Los Angeles Post Office Box by 6:30 a.m. (PDT) Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

KEN HOWARD'S MESSAGE TO HOLLYWOOD MEMBERS


KEN HOWARD'S EMAIL TO HOLLYWOOD MEMBERS


HOLLYWOOD (September 8, 2009)


Fellow Hollywood SAG Members,


The most important question in this election is this: What steps must we take to strengthen the Screen Actors Guild and make sure we can negotiate the best possible contracts? I’ve described very clearly what I think the answer is. We need to build close relationships with all our fellow entertainment unions and approach future contract negotiations as a united front. Most critically, the two unions representing performers in our industry must work together as one. The surest way to achieve that is by merging SAG and AFTRA into one powerful national union.


Please go to http://uniteforstrength.com/?p=734 and you’ll see important video messages from Tom Hanks, William H. Macy, and Felicity Huffman explaining why they – along with Sally Field, Tony Shalhoub, Hector Elizondo and so many other SAG members – agree with me.


My opponent, Anne-Marie Johnson, sees it differently. She and her group, Membership First, chose to fight with AFTRA heading into last year’s TV/Theatrical negotiations, and it cost us terribly:

- SAG members lost tens of millions of dollars in increases and countless job opportunities during a ten month contract stalemate.

- SAG covered only 10% of the 2009 TV pilots.

- Lower revenues led to a 2-year budget deficit of $10 million, requiring 8% of SAG’s staff to be fired.

- Reduced earnings meant fewer members qualified for SAG health insurance and pension credits.

- Lower earnings contributed to the need for major changes to SAG’s pension and health plans, which will take effect in January, including higher health insurance premiums and deductibles, and a lower pension accrual rate.


With results like these, it’s no surprise that Anne-Marie Johnson and Membership First are now trying to sound like they embrace the idea of working together with AFTRA. But what you hear them saying may be very different from what they mean.

- They say they want “all performers in one union”… but they steadfastly oppose merger, the obvious way to accomplish that.

- They say SAG should “share services” with AFTRA… but they want to immediately end the legal agreement that prohibits SAG and AFTRA from publicly attacking each other.

- They say SAG and AFTRA must negotiate together in 2010… but Ms. Johnson pledges her first act if elected would be to ask performers who are members of both unions to choose between them. Is she suggesting that SAG should raid AFTRA’s membership? That would be ruinous.


We CANNOT afford to go back to the go-it-alone approach of Anne-Marie Johnson, Connie Stevens, and Membership First. Unite for Strength is dedicated to protecting the future for actors. If you agree that SAG is made stronger by working in partnership with our fellow entertainment unions, please vote for me, Amy Aquino, and all the Unite for Strength board candidates.


Respectfully,

Ken Howard


For more information about our candidates and to see all the UFS videos, please visit http://www.uniteforstrength.com/


**UNITE FOR STRENGTH VOTING GUIDE**

President – KEN HOWARD

Secretary-Treasurer – AMY AQUINO


Board of Directors – Please vote for ALL 33 board candidates below. DO NOT vote for more than 33 board candidates or your ballot will not be counted.


1 – Michelle Allsopp 6 – Patrick Fabian 9 – Jason George 10 – Dawnn Lewis 11 – Woody Schultz 12 – Michael O’Keefe 14 – Clark Gregg 19 – David Lawrence 20 – Amir Talai 21 – Doug Savant 22 – Dule Hill 23 – Clyde Kusatsu 25 – Tim DeKay 28 – Assaf Cohen 34 – Scotty Caldwell 35 – D.W. Moffett 39 – Mandy Steckelberg 40 – Richard Speight, Jr. 43 – Jenny O’Hara 52 – Gabrielle Carteris 55 – Hill Harper 57 – Bill Smitrovich 58 – Bob Bergen 59 – Ned Vaughn 60 – Nancy Travis 62 – Gregory Itzin 64 – Ellen Crawford 67 – Stacey Travis 73 – Christian Clemenson 74 – Conrad Palmisano 75 – Richard Fancy 81 – Marcia Wallace 82 – John Carroll Lynch


This message was sent by: Ken Howard, Senders valid physical postal address provided in accordance with federal CAN-SPAM Act is: 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th FL., Los Angeles, CA 90036


Please note that this address may not be used to send campaign related communications or contributions to the above mentioned candidate.


[PAID POLITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT]


This e-mail message is not an official communication of the Screen Actors Guild and has not been transmitted at Guild expense. The Guild is required by federal law to provide candidates with the opportunity to send you email messages. The following has been prepared by the candidate(s) and is not endorsed or reviewed by the Guild in any manner. The candidate(s) have not been provided with your e-mail address. The messages are being transmitted by an independent electronic communications firm.

MEMBER REMINDER: CROSS COUNTRY CAUCUSES FOR INTERACTIVE MEDIA TODAY

Attend a Caucus for an Update on the Status of Negotiations for the2009 Interactive Media Agreement

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

FROM THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD:

Screen Actors Guild will host caucuses for the purpose of providing an update to members on the status of negotiations for the 2009 Interactive Media Agreement. The caucuses will be held in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco (please see the locations and times below).

Members of the Interactive Media Agreement negotiating committee and staff will be in attendance to provide the update.Please inform your fellow Guild members who work under this agreement about these important meetings. Participation is limited only by fire department regulations.

When: Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Locations:Los Angeles: Two identical caucuses will be held — you may choose the time that is most convenient for youFirst Caucus: 4–5:30 p.m. (PDT)Second Caucus: 7–8:30 p.m. (PDT)James Cagney Board Room, ground floor5757 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90036Parking will be validated.

New York: 7-8:30 p.m. (EDT) (Videoconference with Los Angeles)Leon Janney Board Room360 Madison Ave, 12th floorNew York, NY 10017RSVP to Courtney Doherty by email at cdoherty@sag.org or by phone at (212) 827-1402

Chicago: 6–7:30 p.m. (CDT) (Teleconference with Los Angeles)1 East Erie St., Ste. 650Chicago, IL 60611RSVP to Kit Woods by email at kwoods@aftra.com or by phone at (312) 867-2547

San Francisco: 4–5:30 p.m. (PDT) (Teleconference with Los Angeles)350 Sansome St., Ste. 900San Francisco, CA 94104RSVP to Jessica Bowker by email at jbowker@aftra.com or by phone at (415) 391-7510

Performers who work the Interactive Media Agreement and who are not from these cities, yet happen to find themselves in these locations on the day of the caucuses are invited to attend.All paid-up SAG members in good standing who work under the Interactive Agreement should attend. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of young performers under 18 years-old are welcome. PLEASE BRING YOUR SAG MEMBERSHIP CARD FOR ADMITTANCE (paid thru October 31, 2009).

Monday, September 7, 2009

HAPPY LABOR DAY FROM THE SAG REPORTER!

THE SAG REPORTER ENDORSES KEN HOWARD, AMY AQUINO AND THE UNITE FOR STRENGTH SLATE IN HOLLYWOOD.

WE ENDORSE UNITED SCREEN ACTORS NATIONWIDE IN N.Y.--ALSO--RBD ENDORSEMENTS


Editorial by W. Burns, Editor-In-Chief
The SAG Reporter

Hollywood (September 7, 2009)

On Monday a week ago I wrote that I'd toss a coin on Friday as to whether we'd endorse any of the candidates currently running in the fall SAG election. Our correspondents, passionate men and women across the USA, hunched over their Underwoods pounding out stories on the '09 election and items concerning the Screen Actors Guild and its members, debated long and loud over the issue. Most were for it.


After examining the material from both sides I kept the coin in my pocket. This wasn't a question that would be answered by chance. Not by a proud pro-union man like myself. Not by the proud pro-union men and women who contribute so much time and effort in Hollywood, New York and in the Regional Branches. There is no question. If you're pro-union and are concerned about the Screen Actors Guild and its future, there is only one answer.

Therefore, it is with great pride that we endorse Ken Howard for SAG's National President, Amy Aquino for National Secretary-Treasurer, and the entire United For Strength slate in Hollywood. For your Hollywood voters guide, visit http://www.uniteforstrength.com/

We endorse Mike Hodge and the entire United Screen Actors Nationwide slate in New York. For your New York voters guide, visit http://www.unitedscreenactors.com/

We endorse, in the Regional Branch Division races, Helen McNutt in Philadelphia, Don Ahles in San Diego, Rik Deskin in Seattle. For your Regional Branch voters guide, please visit http://www.unitedunionperformers.org/ and click on your Branch Division, to stay updated.


Why are we endorsing them? That question will be answered in the The Sag Reporter over the next three weeks, as we file reports and stories that will examine, in detail, the current leadership in SAG and our unions history over the last several years, and stories about the important issues that face us now.

Today, Monday September 7, 2009, we celebrate Labor Day across the United States and its territories. Our union in the Screen Actors Guild is only as strong as our collective and direct involvement, and only as strong as the men and women that we elect to help lead us. The selfless men and women that have come together in Unite For Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide have demonstrated strength, unity and intelligence with regard to the complex and difficult issues that confront us now and in the future. They have demonstrated true leadership qualities.

Mail your ballot, if you haven't already, by September 21, 2009 for your vote to count in this important election.

We hope that you have a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day with your friends and family, and that whatever part of the country you're in, the weather is pleasant and sunny.

For tomorrow we all go back to work. The never-ending work of actors. The work of finding work, of applying our craft in our work, of learning and growing as artists, and last but never least, the important work of our union, The Screen Actors Guild.

Friday, September 4, 2009

UNITE FOR STRENGTH: ON DIVERSITY AND THE DIRECTION OF THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD


Hollywood (September 4, 2009)


AN OPEN LETTER ABOUT DIVERSITY AND THE DIRECTION OF SAG


To Our Fellow Screen Actors Guild Members,

We are candidates running for the SAG board with the slates known as Unite For Strength (www.UniteforStrength.com) and United Screen Actors Nationwide(http://www.unitedscreenactors.com/).


We’re running with these groups because they not only represent the strongest future for our union, but best represent its full diversity as well. Look at the candidates and supporters of the UFS and USAN slates and you will see actors who’ve worked every category from Background and Featured Performer to Series Regular and Film Lead. We represent and are comprised of African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Caucasians, Jews, Muslims, Christians — the full breadth of diversity our country and our union have to offer.


We are proud that our national board, under a combined UFS, USAN, and Regional Branch Division majority, appointed David White to our union’s top staff position of Interim National Executive Director — the first African American to hold the position. This is one of the reasons we were saddened when Anne-Marie Johnson and other Membership First candidates filed a lawsuit against the Guild to remove Mr. White. In the seven months since Mr. White was hired, SAG has successfully negotiated six contracts, yet Ms. Johnson sued to replace him with his predecessor, Doug Allen, who never successfully negotiated a single SAG contract in over two years. Two judges have dismissed the case but Ms. Johnson and Membership First continue to appeal and add to the $170,000 of your dues money already wasted defending this frivolous lawsuit.


We would love to see diversity reach the highest levels in SAG, including the presidency, but not at the cost of our union’s financial well being, respect and unity. Our members have lost over $100 million because of the ill-conceived negotiating strategies of Ms. Johnson and Membership First. Additionally, the slurs and attacks publicly voiced by Ms. Johnson and Membership First have cost our union the respect and partnership of the DGA, WGA and, most regrettably, our sister union AFTRA. Each of these unions is a key ally in getting the strongest contracts possible. More to the point, the central role Ms. Johnson and Membership First played in the breakdown of the relationship between SAG and AFTRA means that under her presidency, any attempts at cooperation with AFTRA would be viewed as suspect.


We believe the best solution to many of our major issues is merger or at least a close working relationship with AFTRA. The recent shift in prime-time work between SAG and AFTRA means that single cardholders – especially background performers – may have to pay initiation fees and join the other union in order to retain the same work opportunities. The shift in work will also make it more difficult for members to qualify for health and pension benefits because their earnings could be split between the two union plans. The next President must mend ties with our sister union. Unfortunately, Ms. Johnson has made herself a pariah with AFTRA leadership, making her incapable of healing the relationship. She has also made clear her unwillingness to explore the possibility of merger. She declares she wants to “bring all actors under one roof” but provides no legally, financially, or ethically viable strategy to accomplish this.


We call on all SAG members to reject any and all personal attacks in this election — especially racial slurs. In a recent video interview, Ms. Johnson stated that she has received “a ton of racist emails” and that she “get[s] that every day.” This is obviously a grave matter and if any of those emails came from SAG members, we call on Ms. Johnson to immediately provide details of those communications to the Guild’s legal department. Membership must know that regardless of our political differences, no one in Guild leadership considers racism trivial and it is the obligation of all SAG members to report such incidents without delay.


Ms. Johnson, like many of us, has been a tireless champion for diversity and we applaud her dedication and advocacy in the boardroom. But during the period that Ms. Johnson and Membership First controlled our union, SAG did not grow stronger but was in fact weakened. It’s time for SAG members of every background to embrace a better approach. We are asking for your vote because Unite For Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide represent that better approach: building strength through unity. We’re also proud to say we represent true diversity.


In Solidarity,
Hill Harper, Manny Alfaro, L. Scott Caldwell, Assaf Cohen, Jason George, Nancy Giles, Dulé Hill, Mike Hodge, Clyde Kusatsu, Dawnn Lewis, Amir Talai, Sharon Washington


**UNITE FOR STRENGTH VOTING GUIDE**

For Hollywood Division Members
President – KEN HOWARD

Secretary-Treasurer – AMY AQUINO
Board of Directors – Please vote for ALL 33 board candidates below. DO NOT vote for more than 33 board candidates or your ballot will not be counted.
1 – Michelle Allsopp

6 – Patrick Fabian

9 – Jason George

10 – Dawnn Lewis

11 – Woody Schultz

12 – Michael O’Keefe

14 – Clark Gregg

19 – David Lawrence

20 – Amir Talai

21 – Doug Savant

22 – Dule Hill

23 – Clyde Kusatsu

25 – Tim DeKay

28 – Assaf Cohen

34 – Scotty Caldwell

35 – D.W. Moffett

39 – Mandy Steckelberg

40 – Richard Speight, Jr.

43 – Jenny O’Hara

52 – Gabrielle Carteris

55 – Hill Harper

57 – Bill Smitrovich

58 – Bob Bergen

59 – Ned Vaughn

60 – Nancy Travis

62 – Gregory Itzin

64 – Ellen Crawford

67 – Stacey Travis

73 – Christian Clemenson

74 – Conrad Palmisano

75 – Richard Fancy

81 – Marcia Wallace

82 – John Carroll Lynch


**NEW YORK DIVISION MEMBERS**Please go to http://www.unitedscreenactors.com/ for a full candidate list and USAN voting guide.


This message was sent by: Hill Harper, Sender’s valid physical postal address provided in accordance with federal CAN-SPAM Act is: 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th FL., Los Angeles, CA 90036-3600

MEMBER ALERT: SAG CAUCUSES FOR 2009 INTERACTIVE MEDIA AGREEMENT


Attend a Caucus for an Update on the Status of Negotiations for the
2009 Interactive Media Agreement
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
FROM THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD:


Screen Actors Guild will host caucuses for the purpose of providing an update to members on the status of negotiations for the 2009 Interactive Media Agreement. The caucuses will be held in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco (please see the locations and times below). Members of the Interactive Media Agreement negotiating committee and staff will be in attendance to provide the update.

Please inform your fellow Guild members who work under this agreement about these important meetings. Participation is limited only by fire department regulations.

When: Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Locations:

Los Angeles: Two identical caucuses will be held — you may choose the time that is most convenient for you
First Caucus: 4–5:30 p.m. (PDT)
Second Caucus: 7–8:30 p.m. (PDT)
James Cagney Board Room, ground floor
5757 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Parking will be validated.

New York: 7-8:30 p.m. (EDT) (Videoconference with Los Angeles)
Leon Janney Board Room
360 Madison Ave, 12th floor
New York, NY 10017
RSVP to Courtney Doherty by email at cdoherty@sag.org or by phone at (212) 827-1402

Chicago: 6–7:30 p.m. (CDT) (Teleconference with Los Angeles)
1 East Erie St., Ste. 650
Chicago, IL 60611
RSVP to Kit Woods by email at kwoods@aftra.com or by phone at (312) 867-2547

San Francisco: 4–5:30 p.m. (PDT) (Teleconference with Los Angeles)
350 Sansome St., Ste. 900
San Francisco, CA 94104
RSVP to Jessica Bowker by email at jbowker@aftra.com or by phone at (415) 391-7510

Performers who work the Interactive Media Agreement and who are not from these cities, yet happen to find themselves in these locations on the day of the caucuses are invited to attend.

All paid-up SAG members in good standing who work under the Interactive Agreement should attend. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of young performers under 18 years-old are welcome. PLEASE BRING YOUR SAG MEMBERSHIP CARD FOR ADMITTANCE (paid thru October 31, 2009).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

MEMBER ALERT: WASH-BALT UNION MEMBER'S OBLIGATIONS AND STATUS OF THE UNION'S AGENCY FRANCHISES


Washington-Baltimore Branch Members: Important Information to Clarify the Status of the Union's Agency Franchises, and Union Members' Obligations There Under


Member Alert from the Washington-Baltimore RBD:


Because of the inherent complexities of agency relations today, SAG and AFTRA (the “Unions”) have received numerous requests from members in both the Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C. areas to clarify the status of the Unions’ agency franchises, and Union members’ obligations there under.


Pursuant to SAG and AFTRA Agency Regulations, Union members who choose to secure the services of an agent are, generally, required to choose from a list of franchised representatives [i.e. those that are bound by the Unions’ Agency Regulations, SAG’s Rule 16(g) and AFTRA’s Rule 12-C, respectively]. However, in some areas of the country, such as Virginia, SAG and AFTRA do not have a brick and mortar presence. In such limited circumstances, we are aware that some Union members may sometimes secure representation from agents that are not franchised, with the understanding that they have voluntarily chosen to enter into those arrangements at their own risk. In the latter scenario, SAG and AFTRA nonetheless strongly encourage members who are desirous of having Union protections to seek out franchised agents in the next nearest area where SAG and AFTRA do have a physical presence (such as Washington, D.C., for example). The Unions can only protect you when you are represented by franchised agents.


If you have made the decision to seek out non-franchised agents in areas such as Virginia, the Unions urge you to proceed with extreme caution before entering into any contractual relationship with an entity that may be operating under divided loyalties. For instance, a production company in a position to hire you that also bills itself as a “talent agency” wishing to represent you, should be thoroughly vetted before you sign on the dotted line. Union members are strongly encouraged to fully investigate companies that sell themselves as so-called “one stop shops” to ensure that there are no inherent conflicts of interest in their business models which could ultimately damage an actor’s long term career development/goals/earning capacity. e.g. if a producer you have worked for suddenly announces that it can also “represent” you as a talent agent, ask yourselves, “is this an irreconcilable conflict of interest? Is the production company more interested in keeping the costs of production down, or negotiating the highest possible wages and working conditions for my services as an actor?”


Other warning signals that should be closely heeded include, but are not limited to:
· Entities claiming to be “talent agencies” that seek to charge you upwards of 15% commission;
· Entities claiming to be “talent agencies” that encourage you to abandon your Union status in order to try to secure “non-Union” work;
· Entities claiming to be “talent agencies” that try to tether you to automatically renewing contracts;
· Entities claiming to be “talent agencies” that purport to own any of your work product or property as an artist in perpetuity;
· Entities claiming to be “talent agencies” that seek to have you indemnify them for the cost of doing business or litigation;
· Entities claiming to be “talent agencies” who attempt to get you to agree to non-compete clauses in their contracts, essentially prohibiting you from auditioning for other employers with which they have a pre-existing relationship.


Remember: Simply signing with some entity for the sake of securing an “agent” may, if not done cautiously in conjunction with your Union office/branch and with your long term business interests in mind, cause you and your career possibly irreparable and irreversible damage. In most instances, it is just not worth the risk. Should you have any agency-related questions, or are unclear about the status of entities with which you are seeking to work, please do not hesitate to contact SAG’s National Agency Departments at: (in LA) (323) 549-6729, AFTRA’s National Agency Department (in NY) at 212-532-0800, or the SAG/AFTRA Local Branch office (in Washington, D.C.) at (301) 657-2560. We can also be reached by email at zino.macaluso@sag.org, mcapuano@aftra.com and, locally, at jlove@aftra.com. Thank you.