Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A “New” Entertainment Union - And a Possible Name

AFTRA is interested in merger with the Screen Actors Guild, but not if the effort is going to fail again. So we learn from an article appearing in the just-mailed Spring 2010 issue of AFTRA Magazine. The union makes clear that any such effort will encompass all of its members, and emphasizes that the goal is “creating one media and entertainment union for all actors, performers and broadcast journalists.”

SAG reacted favorably, with guild president Ken Howard remarking in an email to me, “I’m delighted to see AFTRA’s leadership speak out forcefully about something that I and other SAG leaders so strongly support. Joining SAG and AFTRA to create a single union is essential to performers’ maximizing their power. It’s undoubtedly an idea whose time has come.”

(AFTRA, for the non-laborites among my readers, is the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and AFTRA share jurisdiction over scripted television programming.)

So far, nothing unexpected. But what is new is the letter’s proposal that the new union have “a structure where no single city or no single category of member—actor, recording artist or broadcaster—is able to unilaterally impose its will on everyone else.” That description could just as well apply to AFTRA’s own current structure. SAG’s governance is quite different, and a simple majority of the Hollywood branch can indeed “unilaterally impose its will on everyone else,” or at least stalemate the rest of the union, absent a Herculean effort to the contrary.

Adopting a more AFTRA-like structure is bound to sit poorly with SAG’s Hollywood-based Membership First Faction. That’s the same stale group that has previously disparaged AFTRA and that caused the year-long contract impasse that cost SAG dearly. However, even non-MF Hollywood members will need to be convinced that a sacrifice in control will bring greater dividends in the form of national cross-category unity. It may not be an easy task.

Meanwhile, also new is the article’s conceptualization of the effort not as merger, but as the creation of “A New Union for a New World,” in the words of the article title. What this means is actually not particularly different from merger, but the point is to underscore the need to create a merged union to increase labor’s power in an age of proliferating platforms.

The article stresses that power should be the main goal, with other factors – elimination of duplicative dues, easing the ability to qualify for pension and health plans, and reduction of redundant administrative costs – treated as secondary. I wouldn’t downplay those secondary advantages quite as much as the article does, but the point is clear.

What’s less obvious from the piece is how creation of a new, merged union would increase union leverage. The article, styled as an open letter from AFTRA elected leadership (Roberta Reardon, Bob Edwards, Ron Morgan, Matthew Kimbrough and Lainie Cooke), notes that on the management side, many of the same companies are the employers of actors, other performers and broadcast journalists. (This is less true of another category of AFTRA member, musicians, since only one of the big four labels, Sony Music, is owned by an audiovisual company.)

However, this is less significant than it seems. The fly in the ointment is that since these different categories are employed under different contracts, each with no-strike clauses, joint strikes would be impossible. Does that mean that the letter is no better than a misaddressed email?

Not necessarily. On the contrary, I think the article is on to something if the goal is to create a larger community of interest among the different categories of member. It will, however, take assertive cross education and meetings between different type of workers – in other words, cross-category community building – in order for this to play out. Even if cross-category strikes are impossible, solidarity picketing and informal pressure may not be – just as we saw when SAG supported the Writers Guild during the latter’s strike. That support ultimately was one key to ending the 100 day labor dispute.

Cross education won’t be easy. The article pictures a commonality of interest, citing “salary reductions and added work responsibilities facing broadcasters, declining quotes and reduced work opportunities for actors or record labels’ imposition of ‘360 deals’ on recording artists” as though they were one and the same thing. However, it takes a bit of digging to identify technology as the common factor, since its manifestations are somewhat different – and, thus, so are the implications for labor.

Is technology a strong enough thread out of which to weave a community of interest? After all, technological change affects nurses, autoworkers and lawyers too, yet that doesn’t mean that these groups have enough commonality to foster solidarity between them. Do media workers? Maybe so, but it will take more fleshed out examples to make the point., and hard work to accomplish the goal

Nonetheless, SAG-AFTRA merger is a smart move for media workers. It is, at the least, a step in the direction of creating a larger community of interest and it addresses the dues, pension and health plans, and administrative costs issues. Moreover, it would make it harder for management to play SAG and AFTRA off against each other in negotiations.

The article alludes briefly to “secondary micro-issues” that helped scuttle merger the last two times it was attempted. In my view, those issues deserve a fuller airing well in advance of a merger attempt. The key issues are merger or revision of the health plans, merger of the pension plans, and the name of the new union.

Merger or revision of the health plans seems doable. After all, companies change health plans with some frequency; why can’t two unions, or a new union, change health plans and converge to the same plan? Merger of the pension plans is a more technical issue, and there probably needs to be an au current study done.

The third issue is the one that makes for a nice political football: should the new union be called SAG, AFTRA, AIMA (a proposal during the last merger attempt), or something different? MF partisans have a clear opinion: “You’ll pry my SAG card from my cold, dead hands” seems to be the thinking. Indeed, some probably intend to be buried with their cards.

Extreme or not, there is a reality here: a SAG card is aspirational, whereas an AFTRA card is not. The buff young trainers at my gym sidle up to me and in a whisper beg to learn how they can get their SAG cards. Do I have any in’s with the staff? Is there something I can do? If only the answer were yes, I’d probably have dates every Saturday into eternity. An AFTRA card, in contrast, might be enough for a free workout on a slow day.

Why the difference? Three reasons, probably:

First, as SAG partisans point out, “SAG” is a brand name with greater name recognition, or brand equity, as trademark experts like to say. With due respect to my AFTRA friends, the SAG partisans are right: clearly, more of the general public has heard of SAG than of AFTRA.

Second, “SAG” symbolizes the glamour of the movies; AFTRA symbolizes the technology of TV. Would you rather be 20 feet tall on a movie screen or 20 inches tall on a TV screen? Leave aside the reality that most people watch most movies on home video anyway, movies still have a cachet that television doesn’t.

Third, anyone can get an AFTRA card if they pay the initiation fee. In contrast, SAG is an exclusive club, albeit one with 126,000 members, two-thirds or more of whom don’t work as performers in any given year. Here again, the reality isn’t nearly as seductive as the perception, but so it goes.

So are we stuck in a world where SAG has to discard its name, which I think it will never do, or AFTRA has to accept “SAG” as the name of a merged union, which is also unlikely? No. The solution is easy, and it’s the same approach that was chosen when two rival union federations, the American Federation of Labor (AF of L) and the Congress of International Organizations (CIO) merged in 1955. The name of the merged organization? The American Federation of Labor and Congress of International Organizations – unwieldy, but no one calls it that. They call it the AFL-CIO. Short and simple.

And so would be the obvious equivalent for SAG and AFTRA: “SAG-AFTRA.” It’s short, easy to pronounce – easier than AFTRA-SAG – and it puts the union with the larger membership and more name recognition first. It’s a name that may be the best hope for a merger – or creation of a new union, call it whichever you prefer.

Will a new name require mental adjustment? Of course. No doubt the transformation of the Screen Writers Guild and Television Writers Guild into the Writers Guild of America required adjustment too. Ditto the mergers and name changes that led to the Directors Guild.

But SAG hardliners, ask yourself this: would you rather adjust to a new name, or do you prefer to deny health care to yourself and your family when you split work between the two unions and fail to meet either one’s threshold for coverage? Do you like paying two sets of dues and watching management play ping pong with two unions?

Sunset Boulevard got it wrong: the pictures – and the salaries – are getting smaller. It’s the companies that got bigger. Maybe it’s finally time for the unions to get bigger too.

———————

Subscribe to my blog (jhandel.com) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or subscribe to my Huffington Post articles. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.

33 comments:

  1. As one who has called SAG's new media sunset clause "a meaningless fig leaf" and suggested a percentage of distributors gross across all actors contracts, do you seriously think the compliant producer-friendly behavior that got us into this diminishing- returns-decline for actors, during record box-office gains (March 2010) following a record year for theatrical box office in 2009, despite dire predictions of it being "a bad time to strike" - can you honestly say these people will suddenly adopt a serious, adult approach to negotiations with the AMPTP?

    What in the history of AFTRA or moderate SAG brings you to that conclusion? Don't you think this will end up reflecting the true agenda of these forces: a producer-compliant union that will never strike, so as to keep the wheels of commerce rolling no matter what, and will therefore be subject to an increasing series of the same kind of roll-backs and give-aways, as well as the disastrous new media deal, from the 2009 TV/Theatrical contract?

    Do you seriously think this is about "strength in numbers" when we're talking about the leadership of AFTRA and moderate SAG that has never displayed strength of any kind?

    The rank and file actor is under assault. Work is down, TV is going to AFTRA, residuals are drying up, an extremely tough profession is being overrun by cost cutting corporate behemoths, swimming in money, and the answer is to lock actors into a negotiating philosophy that can only, given past behavior, be expected to compromise with favorable terms for producers whenever a serious issue is contested?

    These people have blood on their hands, figuratively speaking. They are killing the rank and file actor. Even the stars are now under assault - 5 million is the new 20. Net points are the new gross points - which is fine by me - there's where the money to support the vast majority of actors - the rest of the union - has gone over the last 20 years, into the gobs of star actors and their hoggish enablers: agents, managers, publicists and lawyers.

    But what it shows is even the stars are not immune, despite their cozy relationship with producers, many of them producers themselves.

    I do not see this as a good thing for actors - joining into a "performers union." We are not "performers." We are actors, simple as that. It is not an indication of some kind of exclusivity to state that obvious reality. We have different needs, and a grab-bag union of varying disciplines is not a good idea. It is a terrible idea.

    The Screen Actors Guild has functioned just fine for going on 76 years, despite the never-ending attempts of AFTRA to save itself by glomming onto SAG. And every single advance we have made, every single one, has been the result of threat of strike, or strike.

    If actors give up their autonomy, driven by the opinion of non-actors, like David White, Roberta Reardon, Ron Morgan (look at both their credits - they don't work in front of cameras either at all - Reardon, or hardly ever - Morgan) David Browde, the list goes on and on, they will have only themselves to blame.

    Everything the former administration predicted is coming to pass. Merger is not the answer. Fortifying SAG and reducing AFTRA to the backwater it was - that's the answer.

    The destruction of the Screen Actors Guild is in the balance. This is no small thing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A bunch of nasty adolescents called Membership First and their inexperienced NED got us into the present TV/Theatrical contract. Can you ever imagine that these dolts could suddenly adopt a serious, adult approach to negotiations with the AMPTP? What in the history of Membership First would ever bring anyone to that conclusion?

    Is the answer really to lock actors into Membership First's philosophy of non-negotiating that drives them to, given past behavior, only be expected to stamp their feet and howl at producers whenever a serious issue is contested? These people have blood on their hands, they produced the contract that occupies the deep recesses of the mind of the author of the above boilerplate rant.

    The destruction of the Screen Actors Guild is, indeed, in the balance, and if you're not participating and rowing with the leadership, you're trying to sink the ship - and you will be remembered.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The "say the same thing but reversing the parties" schtick is old. Not getting old. Old.

    The facts are the facts. AFTRA split from Phase 1. Not SAG. AFTRA.

    The national board of SAG voted unanimously to issue an SA. Unanimously.

    The moderates on that same national board then completely reversed themselves, sensing a political opportunity, and stalled the previous administration from accomplishing anything. That is fact. If the national board moderates had maintained their support, we'd be working under a fair contract now.

    David White is a former CEO of a company that advised clients - including the MPAA - how to avoid union trouble and get what they wanted. He has let the entire pilot season go to AFTRA under his leadership without a word.

    Ken Howard is an absentee President. He never comes in. Ask any of the recently fired staff at SAG, by David White, as he cuts and slashes due to the loss of workload from the loss of pilots to AFTRA. These people are no longer loyal to White, or Howard, or Aquino. Ask them about Ken Howard and David white and their "leadership." You'll get an earful.

    David white was responsible for the memo saying those who opposed the last contract were "lying to the membership." He denied it, but that was him.

    David White is making important decisions without consulting the national board.

    David White is a Bob Pisano disciple and he is carrying out the summary execcution of SAG, with the support of UFS.

    Over 40% of the SAG P&H contributions come from Television. SAG P&H will be decimated if this continues. The trustees will have to increase premiums and reduce benefits.

    This is just starting to percolate throughout the membership. What they see is a declining profession with a team at the helm that appears to be giving away the farm without a word of objection. They are not happy. I doubt there is much political capital for the union that split from SAG to grab the brass ring for its own selfish purposes, then signed a crap contract, with moderate SAG following suit, to lead actors anywhere but further down. Actors know what is going on. Pundits, lawyers, union officials who don't work the TV/Theatrical contract, do not.

    No one is going quietly and moderate SAG should get ready for some serious blowback. The Hollywood division still dominates the numbers and the NY division and RBD are holding their breath, hoping this thing can get across the wire before the SAG Hollywood membership wakes up. Only the Hollywood division needs to fully wake up. They have the numbers and they don't give a damn about the sell-out NY and RBD divisions. And they are waking up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. All boilerplate rant.

    It is a well-known fact that your Membership First leaders in Hollywood have never cared about SAG members who live and work elsewhere - you don't have to repeat it here. It is one reason why they are going bye-bye.

    Yes, and the Percolating has Started, and the City is Surrounded, and the Door is on Fire. We've heard it all before. No one is buying this nonsense borne out of such diseased rage.

    Actors want a whole new ballgame, and that is what they will get if Membership First is finally put out to pasture by the Hollywood members/voters.

    Time for a new breath and a new day, without your bitter, hate-filled prognostications and your phony reports of death threats. You only wish you were considered important.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Give it a rest old man.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Questions:
    What would such a merger mean for the employees of these unions?
    How long do you think such a merger might take to actually manifest and finalize?
    How would the P&H funds and differing benefits be apportioned, so as to move toward equality, without sacrificing the differing levels of contribution made to date?

    I suggest that this might play out a third way: the idea of a merger is put forth. An almighty session of internecine warfare follows, wherein the 2 unions - in an effort to salvage their respectively misplaced pride - decimate one another's reputations in the main square of our industry's community. A large enough number of above the line actors and broadcast journalists, disgusted at this circus, decide to quit SAG and/or AFTRA. Aforementioned stars and journalists, either together or - more likely - separately, forge a new and smaller union representing their more specialized interests. Consequently, "rank-and-file" actors are forced to cobble together yet another union, comprising "the rest", and hoping that they get organized enough to make their numbers count.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Anonymous said...

    'Give it a rest old man.' "

    I'd like to - and will, as soon as you losers get the eff out of the faces of those who actually do some good for our unions.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do some good? What good? This contract? A President who DOES NOT GOVERN and DOES NOT SHOW UP? A new media deal that will NEVER be overturned except through strike or threat of strike? The loss of 85 pilots to AFTRA? An NED who is making important moves WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE NATIONAL BOARD, which is SUPPOSED to run the union?
    What good has the current administration done for the rank and file actor. Name ONE THING.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Matt, really, this just gets sillier: "What good has the current administration done for the rank and file actor. Name ONE THING."

    Umm, does "reached a deal on TV/theatrical that restarted theatrical production" count?

    How about the Basic Cable Agt., two animation agreements, and the Commercial Agt.?
    That's five things. But I'm just askin'.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mr. Handel. At least try to withhold your partisanship. You never answer questions that matter. This contract is CRAP. It is NOT an "accomplishment." The Screen Actors guild is going dowm the tubes, and you think they are accomplishing things on behalf of the membership?

    Answer some basic questions:

    What do you think of the fact (ask, you'll find out) that Ken Howard does not even show up at 5757?

    What do you think of the fact that David white is making important decisions without the consent of the national board, which is supposed to run the union? (ask - you'll find out).

    What do you think of the fact that David White, former CEO of a company that advised other companies how to avoid labor problems, is now the NED of SAG, and has watched 85 pilots go to AFTRA without saying a word?

    How do, Vice President of SAG and signer of the "new union" letter, was on an actor blog last Sunday, denying there had been any talk of merger whatsoever? Or as your fellow attorney and former SAG NED candidate Steve Diamond put it:

    "The letter surprised many because one of its signatories, Ron Morgan, an AFTRA Vice President, had only this past week come on to a SAG dominated discussion board to deny that merger was in the works at all. In light of the mistrust between many in the two organizations Morgan’s behavior was viewed as disingenuous at best. Morgan contends that he only meant to suggest that merger could not take place until after the current round of bargaining was over.

    However, the larger question that remains unresolved is how, exactly, a larger new union would change the dramatic loss of leverage of performers in the industry. SAG remains a largely actor dominated organization and many argue, credibly, that the conditions facing actors are significantly different from those facing journalists. Therefore, instead of a merger of both kinds of industry employees, actors should be reassigned to just a larger version of SAG while AFTRA concentrates on journalists.

    To date, the unions have signaled a reluctance to strike which means they must develop other means to change the balance of power prior to the start of talks. Little sign of that yet, however. The unions seem to be relying on the old method of just soliciting input from the members and then showing up at the table and making demands."

    This is a guy who had it in for MF due to the fall out of he doesn't seem to agree with you that "great things are being accomplished on behalf of the SAG membership by this moderate government."

    That is a patently absurd statement given the facts.

    Can you get past your disdain for a minute to address those questions?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mr. Handel. At least try to withhold your partisanship. You never answer questions that matter. This contract is CRAP. It is NOT an "accomplishment." The Screen Actors guild is going down the tubes, and you think they are accomplishing things on behalf of the membership?

    Answer some basic questions:

    What do you think of the fact (ask, you'll find out) that Ken Howard does not even show up at 5757?

    What do you think of the fact that David White is making important decisions without the consent of the national board, which is supposed to run the union? (ask - you'll find out).

    What do you think of the fact that David White, former CEO of a company that advised other companies how to avoid labor problems, is now the NED of SAG, and has watched 85 pilots go to AFTRA without saying a word?

    How do you explain that Ron Morgan, Vice President of SAG and signer of the "new union" letter, was on an actor blog last Sunday, denying there had been any talk of merger whatsoever? In other words - lying? You say we should merge (it's still merger) or create a "new union" with that kind of leadership?

    Or as your fellow attorney and former SAG NED candidate Steve Diamond put it:

    "The letter surprised many because one of its signatories, Ron Morgan, an AFTRA Vice President, had only this past week come on to a SAG dominated discussion board to deny that merger was in the works at all. In light of the mistrust between many in the two organizations Morgan’s behavior was viewed as disingenuous at best. Morgan contends that he only meant to suggest that merger could not take place until after the current round of bargaining was over.

    However, the larger question that remains unresolved is how, exactly, a larger new union would change the dramatic loss of leverage of performers in the industry. SAG remains a largely actor dominated organization and many argue, credibly, that the conditions facing actors are significantly different from those facing journalists. Therefore, instead of a merger of both kinds of industry employees, actors should be reassigned to just a larger version of SAG while AFTRA concentrates on journalists.

    To date, the unions have signaled a reluctance to strike which means they must develop other means to change the balance of power prior to the start of talks. Little sign of that yet, however. The unions seem to be relying on the old method of just soliciting input from the members and then showing up at the table and making demands."

    This is a guy who had it in for MF due to the fall out from his NED candidacy and even he doesn't seem to agree with you that "great things are being accomplished on behalf of the SAG membership by this moderate government."

    That is a patently absurd statement given the facts.

    Can you get past your disdain for a minute to address those questions?

    Then, perhaps at some later point, you can explain how your admiration for these people squares with your former statements that the sunset clause for new media they are touting as such an "accomplishment" is, in your words "a meaningless fig leaf?"

    Or your suggestion that "a percentage of distributors gross across all contracts" may be the answer, when these people you defend and sometimes seem to align yourself with, put us in this position to begin with, by agreeing to tiny fixed rates and free windows that can be manipulated to strangle the afterlife of new content, removing, or greatly reducing residuals, the SAG rank and file actors bread and butter?

    This is a record of accomplishment? Do explain, if you have a spare moment.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Matty Angry Two-Year Old:

    Ken Howard most certainly DOES "show up" at 5757. He ran the last National Board meeting - which is one of his constitutional duties. And ran it well and fairly. That's more than can be said for that shlumph Alan Rosenberg, who couldn't pick his nose without Anne Marie Johnson holding his hand.

    Plus Ken Howard fulfills his other duties as SAG President representing the Guild in meetings and at affairs of other labor and industry organizations.

    I don't know what else you expect him to do around 5757 - collect and label Rosenberg's old cigarette ash trays?

    He fulfills his duties with wit, honor, dignity, and with a sociable and agreeable nature that "Ol' Smokey" never could muster. How refreshing to be represented by someone who isn't an embarrassment for a change!

    David White performs his duties as NED with honesty, efficiency, and gentlemanly aplomb - always following the will of SAG leadership. Always. He pursues no actions without the approval of the National Board.

    Your "Who dis? Who dat?" non-specific wandering blather against the SAG leadership is utterly laughable, Matt.

    Keep it up. YOU and your kind of generalized wailing and mean-spirited bitching are right on track to become a prime reason that UFS/NY/RBD will attain an EVEN LARGER MAJORITY THIS SUMMER.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have you been drinking or taking drugs, Mulhern?

    Since when is Ron Morgan a "Vice President of SAG?"

    Where do you get the idea that that SAG President Ken Howard "does not even show up at 5757?" Do you have a little web of MF spies out in California who report (inaccurately) back to you? Maybe there's an MF sign-in sheet in the lobby that Ken fails to check in with when he is at SAG Headquarters?

    Exactly what "important decisions" are being made by SAG NED David White, "without the consent of the National Board?" Whether the toilet paper should be hung as an "over" or an "under"?

    Walter Winchell you ain't, pal. Your tales are as empty as your self-manufactured story about receiving "death threats." You've been challenged to present those death threat emails, and you haven't been able to produce a single one. Anyone who has ever received even a hint of a "death threat" reports it to the authorities - including the police. Perhaps the reason you haven't done that is you you know there are severe penalties for making false reports of such activity?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The death threat was reported to the police. And, of course, it remains posted on Sagactor. Unless you are saying it has been invented, I'm unsure of your point. As to the rest of these two posts, I stand by my statements.

    As I said to Jonathan Handel, who, I notice, still won't answer any questions that don't fit into his "how silly!" narrative, even when they are raised by one of his own, so to speak, Steve Diamond, "ask - you'll find out."

    Jonathan may have a difficult time asking since no one in the pro-SAG, anti-merger camp has any time for him. He is a biased, contradictory pundit, with very little actual inside information, at least from the pro-SAG side of the equation.

    If he actually did some work, and found some of the people who have been fired by David White, who are pissed, and no longer loyal to the current administration, he'd get an earful.

    There's a whole story not being told - yet.

    Tom Ligon's sophomoric nonsense from a crazy old man with access to zero inside information is basically not worth responding to.

    But, I will say this, again:

    Ken Howard is an absentee President who does not show up at 5757. (ask - you'll find out).

    David White is making unilateral decisions without consulting the national board, which is supposed to run SAG (ask - you'll find out).

    David White is firing SAG staff left and right, because of the work that has been lost on HIS watch. (ask - you'll find out).

    40% of P&H contributions are from TV and the P&H premiums will have to go up and the benefits down if this continues.

    All of this is readily available information for Jonathan, if he cares to look into it -- with the right people.

    Also, the thing that is the backstop for those who want to save SAG, is, once this is actually discussed in a sit-down, in a year, if they survive politically that long, there will be "progressives" in that room, and here's what they are going to ask Kim Roberts for: information.

    What is the actual breakdown of this, this and this vote? What are the actual numbers of the pension and health program? Show us this, show us that. All the information that Kim Roberts won't divulge now, even when repeatedly asked by AFTRA board members - will have to be divulged. And if it is? AFTRA is screwed. And if it's not? AFTRA is screwed. Either way, screwed.

    No matter what kind of majority the anti-unionists have, they will not be able to squash the lack of disclosure. It will be revealed to the membership and to the press. Game over. SAG will never merge with liars, and AFTRA is a den of lies.

    Finally - Ron Morgan, VP of AFTRA. Typo.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nonsense.

    Ken Howard not only "shows up" but he fulfills all of his duties as SAG President.

    Ex-staff are "pissed" about being fired? Stop the presses!

    If Jonathan and all he stands for is so far out of the arms of your divisive anti-merger "camp" and is considered such "a biased, contradictory pundit, with very little actual inside information", why do you incessantly quote him in your boilerplate rants? Think about it, nitwit.

    Finally - not only have you NOT POSTED your "death threat" anywhere - I highly doubt you've reported it to authorities. Because, yes - YOU INVENTED IT. Pure and simple. You are an inveterate liar.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "One of the other recipients took this to the local precinct and was told it has to be more specific
    Thank God for the local cops huh? We'll see what the FBI says."

    Oh right - not you. What did the FBI have to say?

    "I'm fairly confident who this is - there has been a trail the person did not intend to leave that has been looked at, and I would like to say to HIM what I have said whenever the
    Sagwatch crazies have bordered on physical threats, or sort of actually dabbled in them. First - you're a pussy. There's that. If you want to be a man and confront me directly, rather than issuing a pseudo death threat via megaproxy, aka anonymously - then, be my guest. You'll have to fly to NY. I do believe that's in the death threat handbook - you, having threatened me, have to pay for transportation and lodging. Technically, as far as threatening me, you're considered a local hire."

    WHAT'S THAT PILE OF BULLSHIT?

    You certainly are BAT-SHIT CRAZY, Mulhern.

    YOU INVENTED AND WROTE: "Last chance for you and your sick crew - Mulhern, xxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxx - sick to the core. Come clean or I fear you may face the worst circumstances a person can face in this life."

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    Why don't you describe to us what you believe "the worst circumstances a person can face in this life" are?

    ReplyDelete
  17. -----Original Message-----
    From: anonymous@megaproxy.com [mailto:anonymous@megaproxy.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 7:03 PM
    To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com
    Subject: last email to you

    Last chance for you and your sick crew - Mulhern, xxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxx - sick to the core. Come clean or I fear you may face the worst circumstances a person can face in this life.
    ___________________________

    Contact brian@sagactor.com. He will prove the legitimacy of the threat.

    The other things that were posted regarding Ken Howard, David White and current goings on at SAG are all true.

    And that will come out. Soon.

    But, the bottom line is: AFTRA has a long, clear, verifiable record of poaching, undercutting SAG contracts, a lack of transparency, keeping information secret form both actors and their own national board members. They also too 500k from the AMPTP to "ease" their rules on ATA boundaries, allowing agents to produce their own clients work.

    All this is going to come out this time in any due diligence meetings that may happen down the road. They may never happen, because the central flaw in the moderate SAG approach is the need to keep SAG weak to facilitate merger. That is beginning to bite them in the ass.

    Actors HATE AFTRA. They hate their deals, they hate their residuals, they hate their free windows, they hate their inferior P&H, they hate AFTRA pretty much across the board.

    The cast of The Bold and The Beautiful, even though they were rightly directed back to AFTRA, came to SAG begging to help them dump AFTRA and be repped by SAG. A long-time cast member, and others were fed up with the horrible coverage of this rinky-dink union. Cite one time a SAG cast has come to AFTRA and complained and asked for help to flip to AFTRA.

    Crickets.

    The lies will come out, your bravado and tough guy schtick impresses no one, and you can't stop the truth from being revealed. You're scared, hence the tough act - and you should be. It aint gonna happen. Notice Jonathan is not answering any of these questions, even the ones raised by Steve Diamond, who says AFTRA has no case for digital jurisdiction in his view, he also says this "new union for a new world" has enough holes in it to drive a truck through, he says SAG should just increase it's membership and AFTRA should rep recording artists and broadcasters.

    So, perhaps Jonathan can grace us with a response to that and the other questions I have raised. "Silly" is an intellectual brain fart. Come on Jonathan - you can do better than that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. MY "bravado and tough guy schtick"? MINE? Matty - that's YOU in the mirror, pal. Toss the drugs into the trash - along with your Future Threats.

    You're a fraud - just like your phony "death threat".

    Tiresome.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Here's a recommend for you, Mulhern:

    http://www.silverhillhospital.org/

    ReplyDelete
  20. The non-answers from Tom Ligon are tiresome. Do the crazies on your side a favor Tom. Shut up.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Matt Mulhern:

    Inquire today: http://www.silverhillhospital.org/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Over on Sagwatch they are debating the proposal floated by AFTRA and one of the posters bemoans the lack of due diligence the last time around, leaving too many questions unanswered, and states that this time, if it gets to that point, there must be a much clearer, comprehensive study done of all the issues.

    Aint gonna happen, and that will be the downfall. Know why?

    The lack of due diligence the last time was intentional, because AFTRA has many, many things it can't answer and/or doesn't want anyone to know. That's the achilles heel of this whole thing.

    AFTRA can't reinvent it's past, its lies, its manipulated votes, the true numbers, all the things they don't reveal when asked, even by their own members and board members, let alone SAG.

    Full disclosure is a ticking time bomb for AFTRA, and anyone, friend or foe of this "new union for a new world!" has to understand there will be no "new world!" until the old one comes clean.

    And it won't, because it will sink the merger.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Whoa. Get worked up much?

    ReplyDelete
  24. It was when "worked up"
    became "fired up"
    that Mulhern lost his marbles,
    if you know what I mean.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Boring. Full disclosure is a contradiction in terms for AFTRA. Watch.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Merger will occur before you can say "Gee, I wish I wasn't hire-poison."

    ReplyDelete
  27. Coming from the 4000 year old, dementia poster boy, Tom Ligon, who hasn't worked, in any traditional sense, since Eisenhower was president

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think I'll send him that comment - he'll enjoy it. Especially coming from a devout coward who would never dare say anything like that to his face.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well, the 4000 year old man who hasn't worked since Eisenhower was president worked in a "traditional sense" and didn't get fired in a "traditional sense" either. What do you make of that, Mulhern?

    Now you've been fired from at least two productions if you include the Neil Simon play. Going for the hat trick. Trouble is that nobody will come near you. Word is out. Like the make up guy said. Word is....that you're nutso.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Word is out.

    I love it.

    Go shout some more incoherent drivel into the mic at the next SAG meeting you old fool.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Since you can't get off your LARD DUFF to go to the mic at any meeting, maybe you should try it before you comment on it. You sit in the back of the room sounding like tourettes syndrome each time you scream. You think no one noticed Bubba Blubber Butt? You are "actor poison" and everyone knows it.

    Give me a break.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The broadcasters will never be in a position to strike if actors see fit. Actors should be a separate entity entirely. SAG has a better health plan and used to have a better pension till recently.

    I think SAG should take back jurisdiction. The 4-A's agreement says that AFTRA only has jurisdiction over programs done in "a manner of live broadcast" - and the destruction of SAG internally also comes from Board Members that serve on both AFTRA and SAG boards.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "....the destruction of SAG internally also comes from Board Members that serve on both AFTRA and SAG boards." Particularly Anne Marie Johnson - she is the impediment to forward movement of any kind. Oust her, Hollywood.

    ReplyDelete