SAG Infighting Stalls Negotiations

sagpicket h 0 SAG Infighting Stalls NegotiationsInsurrectionists in the Screen Actors Guild! It seems a group of Hollywood actors are uniting against the guild leadership in an attempt to pry the reins from the current leadership.

Calling themselves Unite for Strength, they’ve launched a campaign and nominated 31 candidates to head up the governing board that is making contract negotiations with major Hollywood studios, according to Reuters.

The emergence of a serious challenge to SAG’s ruling coalition, a Hollywood-based group of moderates known as Membership First, likely means that the 3 1/2-week-old standoff between the union and studios will drag on for at least two more months.

Candidates running on the Unite for Strength slate include two stars from TV’s "Grey’s Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice" — Kate Walsh and Amy Brenneman — as well as Doug Savant from "Desperate Housewives" and "Chicago Hope" veteran Adam Arkin.

They accuse the current leadership of mishandling labor talks and straining relations with SAG’s smaller sister union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, through SAG’s failed campaign to scuttle a contract negotiated separately between AFTRA and the studios.

Veteran character actor Ned Vaughn, a Unite for Strength candidate and spokesman for the group, said on Thursday his slate could win a majority on the board with a net gain of five or six seats among the 33 at stake in the Hollywood branch.

"We hope very much to do a lot better than that," he said.