STATEMENT OF SCREEN ACTORS GUILD PRESIDENT ON "BROADCAST DECENCY" FINES

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STATEMENT OF SCREEN ACTORS GUILD PRESIDENT ON "BROADCAST DECENCY" FINES

Los Angeles (Friday, May 19, 2006)—Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg today released the following statement:

“Last night, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would increase existing fines levied against broadcast companies that violate what some conservative leaders like to call ‘broadcast decency’ standards. While I personally believe such laws are unnecessary infringements on our right to freedom of speech, the senate bill passed yesterday is, nonetheless, a victory for artists, broadcasters and members of the public because of what it did not include: increased fines on individual artists and individual broadcasters.

“Such fines on individuals—which thankfully have never before been imposed—would only be used to punish and intimidate broadcasters. It is the wrong approach, and the senate made a wise and responsible decision to refrain from making worse such onerous and unjust provisions.

“The Guild worked determinedly to win this battle. We worked with organizations who share our concern about these provisions, collaborated with like-minded elected leaders, including Senator Barbara Boxer, and I testified before the senate committee that considered this bill. Most importantly, the members of Screen Actors Guild voiced their opposition, and they deserve a great deal of the credit for this victory.

“The unfortunate fact is that this fight is not yet over. The legislation now proceeds to a House-Senate Conference Committee, where proponents of increasing the fines on individual artists will make a last stand to have that provision inserted into the final bill. We will continue to aggressively lobby our elected leaders, and our members will continue to make their voices heard on this important issue.”