LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2014) — In its continuing efforts to educate members about the recently released Personal Managers Code of Ethics and Conduct, SAG-AFTRA held its first bicoastal seminar on the agreement, receiving positive comments (examples below) from a capacity crowd of more than 300 members on the importance of the new code and the overall need to regulate personal managers.
The purpose of the seminar, held Friday, March 21 in Los Angeles and New York via videoconference, was to walk members through the guidelines (which mirror state law) that can help members focus on the type of relationship they may want to have with a personal manager.
SAG-AFTRA is committed to continuing education on the member-manager relationship. The next bicoastal member meeting on this topic is scheduled for April 15 at noon P.T.
The code is yet another example of the union acting to protect its members in their representational relationships. SAG-AFTRA members and a number of professional managers who lent their expertise to its development were heavily involved in the process.
“This agreement, first and foremost, was created to protect the relationship between interested members and their listed managers who contact our department on a daily basis requesting assistance from SAG-AFTRA,” said Zino Macaluso, national director/senior counsel of the recently renamed Personal Representatives Department. “The launch of the code naturally brought questions from members, as well as wildly inaccurate misinformation about the nature and scope of the underlying voluntary document. To ensure the dissemination of accurate information of the details of this code, SAG-AFTRA will continue with these educational seminars. Our leadership understands that this will be a long-term process with benefits that will accrue over time, as we expand protections and information for our members.”
SAG-AFTRA seeks to further enhance relations with legitimate, interested personal managers and to ensure that all those participating in the process are protected under the terms of the code. This is a timeless goal for our membership who must navigate an evolving universe of relationships with their representatives.
Certain special interest groups are vehemently fighting any kind of regulatory oversight and are suing the State of California in an attempt to declare California’s entire Talent Agencies Act unconstitutional. These special interest groups are actively seeking to deregulate the representation industry, leaving thousands of performers in the State of California unprotected in their relationships with talent agents and managers. This remains an issue of concern for SAG-AFTRA and our members, which we will monitor closely.
Following the first seminar, attendees were asked to fill out an informal participant questionnaire. The responses were overwhelmingly positive regarding the Personal Managers Code of Ethics and Conduct itself, the need for regulation in this area as well as a desire that SAG-AFTRA hold more of these educational opportunities in future.
Some of the members shared personal experiences in the survey, others highlighted the need to protect SAG-AFTRA members. Among the responses members shared:
“…Having this document is certainly the start of actors being better protected if they choose to have a personal manager. I think that there is a slippery slope with managers because they are not regulated, so this is necessary. I think actors need to be better informed about what they are signing, which this will help.” – J.E.
“I think the long-term advantages of this code will do wonders for our union.” – Danielle J.
“I think the final Code of Ethics and Conduct is great and protects performers.” – Brigitte B.
“I cannot imagine signing an agreement that is not this.” – B.H.
“I would be more likely to sign with a manager that was listed with SAG-AFTRA because it shows that the manager is more responsible and accountable and professional.” – A.P.
“I won’t sign with a personal manager if they have not signed this and I will not work with an agent who is not SAG-AFTRA franchised either.” – Natalie W.
“SAG-AFTRA personal manager regulation is imperative and much needed (if not overdue) for the entertainment industry. I have always had trouble with management contracts when forwarding the documents to my attorney. This SAG-AFTRA manager contract immediately remedies all initial worry and the protection is a union right. I am relieved!” – Sophie L.
“I am part of the union because it protects and regulates my work and I would like to see more regulation of this group by my union.” – F.C.
“I have come up against several managers who have wanted to sign an outrageous multi-year contract and I have realized there was no regulation.” – Eileen F.