LOS ANGELES (April 21, 2011) – Screen Actors Guild today announced that Deborah Skelly has joined the Guild as executive director of industry relations and organizing. Skelly comes to SAG most recently from Fusion Film Group LLC, where she served as vice president of business and legal affairs. As a published author, former feature film agent and comedy talent representative, Skelly understands first-hand the creative talent landscape and is an accomplished and aggressive advocate for actors.
Over the course of her career, Skelly has worked closely with actors and has a deep understanding of the real-life issues facing working actors on sets every day. She brings a range of professional experience as a working content producer, a negotiator, and a practicing entertainment and intellectual property attorney.
“I’m delighted to welcome Deborah to the SAG team and am confident that her expertise in creative talent representation and content production, particularly in television, will prove invaluable to the Guild,” said SAG Deputy National Executive Director for Contracts Ray Rodriguez. “Deborah knows how to build useful and meaningful relationships that will strengthen the historic link between SAG and the entertainment industry.”
“Having worked with actors in various capacities during my career and as a creative artist myself, I am honored to be representing the members of Screen Actors Guild and an thrilled to join the Guild's staff," Skelly said.
Since 2007, Skelly managed intellectual property issues, drafted legal documents and provided legal counsel at Fusion Film Group. Prior to that, she served as vice president of business and legal affairs for American Entertainment Holding Company where she managed legal issues and negotiated TV and film production and distribution deals. In previous positions, she served as CEO of Shoppingtheworld.com and represented creative talent as a feature film agent for the William Morris Agency in New York and as a production and development executive at comedy management firm Rollins Joffee, Morra Brezner, which then represented Woody Allen, David Letterman, Jim Carey, and Robin Williams, among others. Skelly has a BA from Smith College and a JD from Pepperdine University and is the author of The Misadventures of Maria O’Mara, a book about a female talent agent.
Skelly will report to Rodriguez and will oversee a staff of five nationwide from her office at the Guild's national headquarters in Los Angeles, CA.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation's largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.
Contact: Pamela Greenwalt
SAG, Communications Executive Director