Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Screen Actors Guild Role in Promoting the Casting Couch

The Screen Actors Guild's  mission statement says that it attempts to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements that establish equitable levels of compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its performers.

Yeah right.

A pig like Harvey Weinstein can roam Hollywood for decades and SAG (now SAG-AFTRA) never

did anything.

That tells you a lot about the Hollywood union.

Wikipedia informs  (my highlight):
Many high-profile actors refused to join SAG initially. This changed when the producers made an agreement amongst themselves not to bid competitively for talent. A pivotal meeting, at the home of Frank Morgan (Ralph's brother, who played the title role in The Wizard of Oz), was what gave SAG its critical mass. Prompted by Eddie Cantor's insistence, at that meeting, that any response to that producer's agreement help all actors, not just the already established ones, it took only three weeks for SAG membership to go from around 80 members to more than 4,000. Cantor's participation was critical, particularly because of his friendship with the recently elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After several years and the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, the producers agreed to negotiate with SAG in 1937.
The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 sets out the general principle that employees have the right to join a trade union and engage in collective bargaining. Under section 9 (29 U.S.C. § 159) the people elected by a majority of the workforce have the right to become the exclusive representatives of workers in collective bargaining with the employer.

In other words, major producers eventually figured out that they had actors and actresses corralled if they operated in cahoots with SAG. All members of SAG agree to work only for producers who have signed contracts with SAG. In other words, if an actor ever wanted to hope to do work at a major studio, SAG membership was necessary and it limited the options for actors to the major producers.

In reality, the union made it more difficult for actors and actresses to avoid producers like Weinstein, since SAG requirements to only deal with Weinstein and other major producers cut off options fast if an actor/actress did not co-operate with the top producers.

An independent film producer would never be able to get a top star, since it would mean the star would have to give up SAG membership and thus access to all the current top producers.

FDR's National Labor Relations Act created a fat pig old boy's club that gave enormous power to the inside players---and Weinstein and the rest knew it.

Weinstein was a pig but where was an actress going to go?

SAG had the whole thing on lockdown.

This is not to say that Weinstein wouldn't have been a pig without SAG, but SAG sure made things easy for him.

And it is not to say that actresses didn't have any options, see: Some Advice to Women Who Want to Make It in Hollywood in the Wake of the Harvey Weinstein Reports



  1. Please let's not act as if this is a phenomena exclusive to Hollywood. You hear about Harvey Weinstein because he's a famous man. These kind of things happen to women in all walks of life in every profession. Men may want to stick their heads in the sand about it....well, that's part of the problem. Women are reluctant to speak up for fear they won't be believed.

    1. Then dont act like beautiful women dont use their sex appeal, and sex, to get what they want from producers at the expense of women who wont prostitute themselves. There are no angels.