Thursday, August 28, 2008

Archive Video of Interviews with SAG Candidates

Yesterday, I did live streaming video interviews with SAG candidates and board members from the incumbent, dominant faction, Membership First (represented by David Jolliffe and Ann-Marie Johnson), and the challengers, Unite for Strength (represented by Ned Vaughn).

Some highlights from the interviews: Unite for Strength appears to have many of the same positions on contract issues, generally speaking as Membership First, although Ned was vague about a lot of this, saying that he wasn't in the negotiating room. He refused to say explicitly whether they would seek to fire the National Executive Director, Doug Allen, but said that he would take direction from a new Board majority if Unite for Strength gained a majority (which Ned said would take 6 seats), and expressed confidence that it would not be necessary to dissolve the negotiating committee in order to get it to take a different approach to the negotiations. Ned also was somewhat equivocal about whether, someday after accomplishing a merger with AFTRA, they might seek to reinstitute affected member voting (qualified voting).

Membership First contends that their actions towards AFTRA this year were not responsible for AFTRA deciding to negotiate separately -- rather, that AFTRA was determined to do so in any case. They insisted that negotiations with the studios were ongoing, but refused to provide details, citing the fact that David is on the negotiating committee. They were at first reluctant to concede that SAG was de-leveraged, but ultimately did. Critically, Membership First revealed its strategy, which has been a source of confusion for many people: educate the members on the issues to the point where it does become possible to meet the 75% threshold for obtaining a strike authorization.

Each of the interviews is about an hour and ten minutes long – but well worth it if you want to be informed. Apparently, the candidates haven’t done any other video interviews except soundbite clips.

Click on the images below to watch the interviews (the first is Unite for Strength and the second is Membership First), or click

(By the way, a blooper: we hit Record a little before Broadcast, so you'll see 30-60 seconds of pre-program setup and chatting. Ah well, just ignore that.)


  1. Maybe it's because I'm so emotional about this historical battle, but I think this is good television.

    I can't help thinking, as I watch, "Ned Vaughn is a Republican. He really IS a Republican."

    The secretary of Unite-for-Strength, Todd Waring, sits in meetings with Ned, and he confided to me, at the meet-the-candidates-and-show-us-your-money party (Aug. 26), that Ned is a loyal member of the G.O.P. And I totally believe him! Why would he lie about a thing like that?

    So after that party (at Jane's & Bradley's in San Marino), I was blabbing how it was TOO PERFECT that this clean-cut, Wasp-looking young-executive type was spear-heading this party to take the Guild back from the unwashed rabble.

    And I emailed Ned at two addresses, to find out if it really IS true, but he never replied, so I think Yes, it's true, but now Todd is scolding me for making too much of it (after eight years of DICK CHENEY?!), and he says:

    "I think the attacks on Ned's political leanings are unwarranted. (Todd says.) That's broad brush you're wielding. You must know I'm a dedicated liberal and would fight the incursion of any corporatist or anti-union philosophy. I can assure you the only mission this slate is bound by now is that of merger."

    I don't know if merger is a good thing or bad, I just know it's complicated, with lawyers and accountants, and, right now? I just want the people who are dealing for us to get us a good deal and that pile of poop the CEOs left on the table is one stinky deal. So leave our guys alone to do their job.
    And I'm looking forward to your other video with our guys who need to take a bath and wash their hair.

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