Los Angeles (Oct. 28, 2007) –The National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild unanimously approved a statement of support for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) at its plenary meeting in Los Angeles Oct. 27.
Saturday’s resolution, which is included below in full, sounds a resounding note of support for the WGA from the highest elected body of Screen Actors Guild.
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE WGA
- WHEREAS the advent of digital production and distribution of content through the Internet, cell phones, and other new media platforms has created a moment of historical urgency for the Guilds that represent creative talent;
- WHEREAS our employers sought to change the compensation structures fought for by generations of actors, writers and directors by proposing to pay residuals on a profit-only basis across all media;
- WHEREAS our employers have thus far been unwilling to counteroffer the reasonable WGA payment proposal for Internet streaming and instead call such use “promotional” even when whole pictures are shown and new revenue is generated;
- WHEREAS our employers persist in equating content downloaded over the Internet with the sale of DVDs despite the complete absence of manufacturing costs and the relatively de minimis cost of digital distribution;
- WHEREAS our employers have thus far been unwilling to recognize that the wages, working conditions and residuals provided in our basic contracts should govern work made for any platform, new or old;
- WHEREAS our employers have had sufficient experience in new media to make confident, public revenue projections to their shareholders, but nevertheless insist that they must study new media for another three years before they can bargain a residuals formula;
- WHEREAS any solution devised for payment of residuals in new media must address the problems of monitoring and enforcement;
- WHEREAS our employers have been unwilling to improve the unjust home video residuals formula despite record home video revenues they have reaped since convincing the Guilds over 20 years ago to help grow this market by accepting a discounted residual;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild that:
- The current position of the AMPTP and its members referred to above are unreasonable and would set a dangerous precedent for all creative talent.
- The Guild supports the WGA and any other Guild or union that seeks to resist the employer positions referred to above and fight for fair compensation and protections for creative talent in the motion picture, television, and new media industries.
Adopted unanimously this 27th day of October 2007 by the National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild.