SAG infighting continues


Moderates who hold a majority of the national board of the Screen Actors Guild aren’t giving up on their efforts to get rid of chief contract negotiator Doug Allen. The question now is whether the majority can figure out how to outmaneuver SAG President Alan Rosenberg and his hardliners who back Allen.

The embattled Executive Director of the union and its chief negotiator is hardly trying to mend fences. The Los Angeles Times reports that he sent out a letter to members threatening to go ahead with a strike authorization vote unless the board accepted his “compromise” of putting the final offer from the Hollywood studios to a vote without a recommendation either way on how members should vote. That enraged Chicago SAG President Todd Hissong who fired back that Allen had “grossly violated” his responsibilities to the union. “I hereby demand your immediate resignation as our national executive director,” Hissong wrote.

But that is not likely to happen. Rosenberg accused the moderates of blocking progress in the contract negotiations by cutting Allen’s legs from under him every time he did something. “These people are like children,” the SAG President railed.

Rosenberg and his allies used parliamentary rules to block the majority from taking any action against Allen during a 28-hour meeting last week that ended with nothing being accomplished. Lawyer and blogger Jonathan Handel now has a detailed blow-by-blow of the surreal session on his Digital Media Law blog.

But while the moderate majority failed to oust Allen in that marathon meeting, they haven’t given up. One option now may be to gather written assents from board members to fire Allen. If that happens, you can count on a legal battle to follow.