The Screen Actors Guild, also known as SAG, met with the Writers Guild of America, also known as WGA, to discuss the details of becoming a united front against the production studios. SAG and WGA will work together to get their demands met when they go in for contract negotiations with the studio heads later this year and early next year.
Both unions are coming to an end of their contracts and have needs that need to be addressed before they will renew the contracts. I have never even entertained the idea of actors actually going on strike but the word is quickly spreading that that is exactly what will happen if SAG and WGA cannot reach an agreement with the studios.
So what are some of the SAG and WGA demands that aren’t yet met? It mostly revolves around the popularity of the internet. Actors and writers are missing out on a lot of income generated by new media formats changing the way that entertainment is delivered. They have no cut on the action, so to speak.
So how will SAG and WGA show themselves as a united front against the production studios? The Writers Guild of America’s contract expires in October of 2007. If the production studios and the WGA cannot meet an agreement before that time not only will the WGA strike but SAG will also be involved in the strike. Hollywood observers are stating that it doesn’t look like the WGA and the production companies are going to reach an agreement before the deadline and we know what that would mean: SAG and WGA strike.
A strike would mean that anyone that is part of either the SAG or the WGA unions would stop working for as long as the strike is in effect. That would mean that absolutely no scripts would be written and absolutely no filming of anything would take place. I’m sure people like Jay Leno and his writers are part of both of these unions, imagine no taping of the Tonight Show. This would be huge! This news is already having an impact on upcoming movie productions such as the X-Files sequel.
I do agree with the premise that due to the ever changing technology surrounding the way that movies and TV shows are viewed, SAG and WGA need to renegotiate what their revenue streams will look like. I think that the production studios also realize this and if they are smart they will reach an agreement with both unions as soon as possible.