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Stars Don’t Want Non-Working Actors To Vote

From Bloomberg:

Affleck, Paltrow Support Barring Unemployed Actors’ Guild Vote

By Andy Fixmer

April 11 (Bloomberg) — Hollywood stars burned by a writers’ strike that halted films and dozens of television shows want to prevent another shutdown by stripping lesser-known Screen Actors Guild members of their voting rights.

Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow are among more than 1,400 guild members who signed a petition calling for only actors who get at least one day of work a year to vote on strikes and contracts, according to supporters of the plan. Guild President Alan Rosenberg said the proposal will be considered by the union’s board at meetings this weekend.

The measure pits actors with regular work in movies and TV against those who have taken time off or who work as waiters while seeking roles. Supporters say the proposal would ensure that those with the most at stake are the ones who decide whether to approve a contract or walk picket lines. Critics say it violates the spirit and history of the 75-year-old guild…

If enacted, the changes may make it easier for Christopher Guest, Glenn Close and other supporters to prevent a work stoppage when the guild’s labor contract expires on June 30, according to Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney at TroyGould in Los Angeles. It would also block votes from members whose livelihood isn’t acting, such as Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp.’s chief executive.

It’s a problem that two-thirds of the guild’s members made less than $1,000 last year, Moonves said last month at an investor conference. “So those are the people who are going to vote on whether they like a new contract?” he said, chuckling

Representatives for Affleck and Paltrow didn’t respond to messages. Close declined to comment. She “is a signatory and the reasons are spelled out in the petition,” said Catherine Olim, the star’s publicist, without elaborating. Jeremy Zimmer, Christopher Guest’s agent at United Talent Agency, said his client was unavailable…

The proposal was scaled back this week to include actors who had worked at least one day a year on average over six years, down from five days previously. It would also allow voting by actors who get payments from reruns and DVDs or who are vested in the guild’s pension.

“If those with a concrete stake in the contract have greater control, that strengthens SAG’s position at the bargaining table,” said Ned Vaughn, a petition organizer who has appeared in “Cane” on CBS. Background actors, or extras, who get paid less, would need to average six days of work to vote…

Of course we usually eschew posting about such inane matters.

But the hypocrisy here is breath-taking. Even by Hollywood standards.

What would these Solons say if voting in elections were to be restricted to people who actually pay taxes?

By the way, even if you haven’t worked in years you still have to pay your SAG dues to remain a member.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 11th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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