Los Angeles (August 22, 2005) – In a major victory for working actors in New York state, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today announced that it has successfully persuaded New York Gov. George Pataki to veto legislation that would have significantly altered the rules under which talent managers must operate. The proposed bill would have expanded the powers of New York state talent managers by allowing them to secure work for actors—without the same controls or regulations that currently govern agents.
The veto comes three days after Guild President Melissa Gilbert personally lobbied Gov. Pataki to kill the legislation. The Guild also worked closely with its sister unions, the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America East and West, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors’ Equity, in the effort to defeat the bill.
In their discussion, President Gilbert urged the governor to veto a bill that would negatively impact working actors by effectively allowing “personal managers” to act in the same capacity as a “talent agents” without the duty of accountability or oversight from the state. If signed, the law would be particularly harmful to the Guild’s child performers, many of whom are guided by managers early in their careers before they transition to agency representation.
“Governor Pataki’s veto of this legislation is a significant moment for our New York members and for professional actors across the country,” said Gilbert. “This bill would have ripped away key protections for working actors and could have served as a terrible model for copycat legislation in other states. On behalf of the entire membership of Screen Actors Guild, I want to thank Governor Pataki for his commitment to the hard-fought protections that safeguard all working actors, particularly our most vulnerable young performers. The governor has been a friend to us many times in the past, on health and child performer issues as well as tax incentives for production. We are grateful to him for his friendship and support.”