Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SAG: Union Bullies

It seems as though enough members of the Screen Actors Guild have promised to boycott this year's Golden Globe Awards to prompt the cancellation of the telecast.

To this I ask, "Why?"

Of course, most SAG members will answer that it's in support of the WGA strike, and that's all fine and dandy, but what about supporting your fucking industry? You know, the hands that feed you? The people who sign your paychecks? Those responsible for the projects that allow you to earn more in a month than most people make in a year?

Where the flying fuck does it state that the Hollywood unions have to "support each other?" What is that going to do but prolong negotiations and put people out of work?

Seriously... I understand the "artists helping artists" mentality, but if the AMPTP has to keep dealing with separate unions that keep "supporting each other," why doesn't SAG and the WGA just cut the bullshit and make a new union? Greasing one cog is bad enough, but to having to keep reapplying grease every other month over the same argument is counterproductive and dangerous to Hollywood.

I'm against the studio system, I really am, and I don't think the talent should ever agree to go back to the old school system, but I think the guilds and unions should take a step back, forget about "power," and start aspiring to help an industry open itself up and create awesome films with competitive talent.

In other words: don't make the unions mandatory anymore. If a young actor or writer wants to be in or write a film/television script without worrying about residuals, then fucking let them. If those same people don't give a shit about union health care and other benefits, then don't force them in. Let them work. Sure, the Hollywood full-timers will eventually join their respective unions, that makes business sense, but to force it on people? Look what that did the US auto industry over the past two or three decades. It's no accident that GM and Ford have lost ground against Toyota.

Do we really want Hollywood overrun by Bollywood and suspect "independent" cinema? Fuck no, we don't.

We want Hollywood to remain a profitable, self-sustaining industry that is open and fair to all. Exactly who does SAG think they're helping? Not the little guy, oh, no... but themselves. And Heaven forbid a "war" between two of the powerhouse talent unions.

Negotiations will proceed, of course, and this matter will ultimately be solved. But joining a cause that is only peripherally your own? That's retarded... the French did that in World War II (Vichy, anyone), and look at how much extra heartache that caused.

Fuck you, WGA, for starting all of this. I agree to an extent with your residual demands, but I disagree completely with your demand to absorb animation and reality writers.

And shame on you, SAG, for sticking your head into something that didn't need your head stuck into.

After all, if Hollywood collapses, none of you idiots will be working.

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