Monday, 2 February 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #222: He's Got A Right To Sing the Blues

Allan Rosenberg, character actor and president of the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG), has been having a rough time. His union's divided, his hand picked negotiator Doug Allan was bounced in a inside coup, and the AMPTP is giving him and the union the steam off their pee in negotiations.

I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and declare that Rosenberg is somehow a bad person for all these problems, and I'm not going to make mock of his recent blues singing about his recent troubles.

Okay, maybe a little, but that's because deep down, I am a really petty, petty man.

But to get back on track, I am going to discuss why I think Rosenberg was the wrong man, at the wrong job, at the wrong time.

Just about anyone who has reported on Rosenberg says that he's an idealist. Someone who thinks that the Screen Actors Guild can somehow make Hollywood a utopia replete with money for everyone, unicorns, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sadly, idealism and $3.50 will get you a vente mocha latte, and not much else.

And the union he took over wasn't in any shape to face down the AMPTP in any form because:

1. SAG was rife with internal divisions.

2. SAG wasn't in any shape financially to endure a lengthy strike, and because of those divisions that situation has become even worse.

3. The "A-List" of SAG membership doesn't give a tinker's cuss about the work-a-day actors, and many will often act against the union to avoid anything that might make the studios look at the actual box-office value of those same "A-List" actors.

4. Other unions, AFTRA I'm looking in your direction, were actively undermining SAG in their plan to be the last union standing for actors in Hollywood.

5. The moguls of the AMPTP were actively promoting problems 1-4, because it improved their standing.

Surrounded by clashing agendas and outright treachery, Rosenberg really didn't stand much of a chance, and neither would any idealist.

Now a cynical conniving bastard, might have, but he's not available.

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