labor unrest

So Is This Actors’ Strike Going to Happen or What?

Maybe! If you’d asked us a month ago if we thought the Screen Actors Guild would dare call a strike over something as paltry as new-media royalties in the middle of the worst financial crisis of our time (and just a year after Hollywood was devastated by a three-month writers’ strike), we’d have told you they’d have to be crazy. As it turns out, though, maybe they are! Despite the cooler heads of the guild’s members, SAG leadership appears to be headed for a strike-authorization vote that could derail next year’s Oscars, along with 2010’s spate of sequels, remakes, and reboots.

Amid escalating rhetoric between thespians and producers, Vulture buddy Nikki Finke reports that last night’s SAG town-hall meeting in New York was a shouty affair, with members calling for the replacement of union leadership and the acceptance of the studios’ last contract offer, made last June. “This is such a horrible deal, but everyone else has taken it so we need to take it,” says Finke’s source at the meeting. “We know the economy will be better in three years.” And yesterday, a cabal of A-list actors drafted a letter to SAG leadership asking the guild to vote against a strike authorization lest any of them miss out on a $40 million paycheck next year: “We do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work,” wrote Tom Hanks, Ed Begley Jr., and others.

Hilariously, SAG replied in a letter of its own: “Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who signed on have not attended informational meetings and have not taken the opportunity to learn the facts directly from Screen Actors Guild. Clearly, the AMPTP’s rhetoric has had the desired effect.” So, yes, Hollywood is probably doomed here.

Stars Urge “No” Vote To Authorize Strike [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
SAG’s NYC Town Hall: “Vocal & Brutal” [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
SAG’s Allen Responds To ‘Vote No’ Stars: “AMPTP’s Rhetoric Had Desired Effect” [Deadline Hollywood Daily]

So Is This Actors’ Strike Going to Happen or What?