The SAG And AFTRA Merger Vote, General + Simplified, PART 2
In that last post, I wrote ‘Part 2, A’ in the proposal by Vote-Yes-on-SAG-AFTRA side, alleged that merging the 2 acting unions together might create a more powerful single union; and that one actor union would then become a powerful force unlike the inferred lesser power that the merger people claim the guilds have individually, as two separate guilds. Especially, a power as new necessity, as claimed by the Yes-side; because of a supposed greater power on the other side of the negotiating table, for actors; that is as they state, the ‘Conglomerates’. Inferring that,big conglomerate companies are now on the other side of the bargaining table from us little actor groups, and alleges that they are more of a foe, and less amenable to negotiations, than we used to be up against. Such as, individual corporations, and production houses, film companies, etc. (According to the Vote-Yes-On-SAG+AFTRA-Merger.)
Amongst professional actors, that which I labelled ’2A’ hasn’t caused much conflict, at all. First of all, the idea of these massive conglomerates and their increase in power is theoretical, and has no one shaking in their boots. SAG was originally started, way back, because actors wanted to have some rights while dealing with the very powerful film studio giants. Within the Industry, there wasn’t a greater power. The Studios controlled the Industry, all of The Business.
Their solution to the looming force of power of these big conglomerates, is to make 1 actors union. Anyone with a brain in their head that has ever delved toward a business bent, in the slightest, knows that there’s a very slim chance that this merger, if it goes through, will give a guy like Rupert Murdoch a thought, at all. He may never know about it, let alone care. No one thinks he will be shaking in his boots, nor would it cow any other multi-corporation conglomerate mogul.
Everyone can tell that this is just a theoretical problem that was composed by some at the top of the Yes side, or their expensive PR people, because the answer suits their campaign. The tail may’ve come before the dog.
Now Comes The Part That Actors Get Emotional Over, Angry. It’s Also 2 Opposing Sides With 2 Very Different Versions Of Recent History.
Differing Interpretations of Right And Wrong, Too.
But Part 2 B is not a ball of fluff. It’s more specific.
It’s a powderkeg for the other side, the opposition to this current referendum for a SAG-AFTRA Merger vote.
Part 2B of the YES-on-Merger side’s proposal is another segment, a different argument, under their alleged “ACTOR POWER AND INFLUENCE” reasoning and persuasive tactics.
It states, in other words, that the guilds are competing and squabbling over who will be the representative union on each individual production.
And that actors’ contracts, and terms, are being undermined because they claim that both unions are under-agreeing and driving the basic, bottom line agreements; lower and lower. That because they are “competing” the actors are losing out, more and more, as a result.
Besides the reframing, twisting, reversing, and flipping the truth for the purposes of selling this point to the actors; there’s an outright lie that is so insulting to the opposition that it’s stunning. To those actors on either side, that actually know the history, and aren’t willing to change truth to suit their preference of side, that is. (Or at worst, so as to only pay one dues instead of 2 and are willing to change facts to get there.)
There does happen to be quite a bit of fact twisting to suit a side, going on. Especially on the YES side. And what is so difficult about that are two things:
1. Trust. From a guild-union, a place that is supposed to be the most trustworthy for an actor, where the actor depends for that above all…it’s a little freaky to read blatant truth twisting.Even if it is, to sell their point, to get votes. Even if they actually believe they are going to be beneficial for the actor, if they win. (This is just one example of trustbreaking stuff that’s written, outright, on this SAG-AFTRA merger referendum.)
What makes it dimensionally wierder, is that if they succeed, and this referendum gets passed and the actor guilds get merged, part of the new relationship between actors and their union will be absolute trust. Actors will lose voice, will be giving up their rights to vote on referendums. In other words, they are saying give up all your power to us who twist and remake the past for our purposes.
There’s a kind of unspoken agreement between the leaders and those who advocate ‘Vote Yes On Merger’, a kind of social contract that suspends all commonly-used trust-integrity factors, when judging someone or something. Especially, while judging and debating something like this.
Those actors on the YES-merger side parrot the blatant falsehoods, and truth-twists, and it’s unsettling to hear. I get a strong sense that the goal of merger is so personally important to them, for their own personal emotional reasons and/or life purpose reasons, that they are not only willing to vote on something that touts uses falshoods, as a kind of propaganda; but the actors repeat some of the same re-framing, twisting, or outright fabrications.
I’m not soapbox-ing here, I’m not asking for a return to good old values.
I am making the point about trust. (A part that freaks me out.)These folks leading the YES on merger side are publishing persuasive documents and mailing them to SAG members, persuading professional actors to, by voting yes, to therefore invest in them all trust (the future of the professional acting career), in this vote (by voting yes to all that is outlined on their referendum); with abject violation of our familiar, commonly accepted, socio-cultural codes of means of integrity.
In attempting persuasion, they use falsehoods to gain trust. Absolute trust. For the future; and irreversible. Does this only bother me?
If you read their proposal, you will notice an outstanding pattern of generality. A kind of legally-composed, fill in your own blanks. (Which, I suspect, a whole lotta actors are unconsciously doing.) In the real referendum, which is the only document that actually counts as legal “word up”, after all is said and done; there’s a seriously outstanding lack of specifics.
When the YES-side leaders are asked to provide specifics, they put out more evasive documents, diversions that again, seem composed by the PR hirees.
I will be writing about 1)who wants yes so badly and the underlying reasons why; and also 2)explaining how SAG actually works, and why many actors who trust what SAG advises aren’t aware that SAG is run by elected leaders who represent one side or another.
According to Rebecca Reardon, referendums are a big expense for the guilds to run, costing ‘$100,000′. (From actor dues money.) That pays for the PR hirees, the whole campaign to Vote-yes-on-merger. It’s why there is so much info available for the Vote-yes side, and the opposition doesn’t even have a working website. (Websites cost money, and the opposition doesn’t have the dues bank at their disposal.)
Unlike any prior referendum, this one is a heavy duty full-charge ahead campaign that doesn’t resemble grass roots at all, but smells strongly, of propaganda.
I can’t explain why I alone find this off-puttingly icky, and mention it, alone.
There’s something that’s affecting the acting community regarding this campaign, and you can watch the sea change, in comments, on Facebook. Chronologically. The merger and yes win, seemed imminent, yet now it appears that it started off much stronger than it’s turning out to be. There were a whole lot more Vote-Yes actors, in the beginning. Two weeks ago. They were certainly a lot more vocal. They still are cutting and pasting the same pleas to their friends, and more specifically to fans they believe will vote as they dictate to them…to vote Yes on Merger.
However, as knowledge expands throughout the community, things are changing. Or seem to be. WIth a slow start, actors began to use scrutiny, just about the 1st week of March, about a week after the ballots were mailed. By week 2, the vocalizing began, with specific points expressing serious doubt.
It seems that the more actors know, the less they wanna go. To merger. Right now, anyway.
Which makes sense, because there is no rush, even though the Vote Yes leaders are trying to create a false pressure. The more bulldozing that is going on, and the more knowledge that gets uncovered; the more actors are asking for a breather to weigh this a bit more. Right now.
And then the Yes Vote Side insists that there is no need to know. Uh oh.
And it’s especially this little warp-flip of history…
(I’ll tell you the history part next…)
Let’s Go Back To 2007-8…Wha’ Happen’d??
(Will finish after I come back tonight or Sunday morn. Sat 9:43 PM—1st draft)
2ND draft 5:01 PM Sunday. (Don’t know why this seems too convoluted to explain, easily, but it feels like molasses to dissect. Will finish this twisting-’history’-explanation, in a little while, today. Taking a break. Whoof.)
Sunday 9:56 Awaiting fact-checkers return call about “history” , to insure accuracy. Apologies, as we all wait…