It seems poor Donald is getting a lot of blow back for his hair cost claims. But has it occurred to certain Hair brains that’s where the hair is that he’s talking about? I mean once they get in there, the cost of renting a telescope strong enough to find it, and a doctor barber, along with….
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
Okay, okay here’s a real article by Deadlines David Robb:
Sandra Karas, secretary-treasurer of Actors’ Equity, was surprised Monday morning when she read The New York Times’ article about President Trump’s income taxes – and the $70,000 that he reportedly wrote off as a business expense for hair styling in connection with his TV show The Apprentice. “It made me laugh when I…(*for complete article click the following link.)
By David Robb Deadline September 25, 2020 12:56 pm
SAG-AFTRA is holding webinars for members and their representatives about the return-to-work protocols adopted earlier this week by management’s AMPTP and Hollywood’s guilds and unions. A webinar for SAG-AFTRA members has just concluded, and another for their agents, managers and attorneys is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT (RSVP for that here).
During the morning session, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris told members that “charting a safe path back to work has been our No. 1 priority,” and that the new agreement is “the single most important agreement we’ve signed in decades.”
SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White noted that “this is a process that we’ve been dealing with since the start of the pandemic, but really in earnest to develop these safety protocols since late-April, early-May – and in the negotiations with the AMPTP since June. And it was all something we’d hoped to complete by the end of June. But it turns out that keeping people safe in a production environment is terribly complicated, and it actually took us this long to negotiate these details and to ensure that our members would be safe on set.”
Industry’s New Return-To-Work Protocols Were Months In The Making Because Large Swaths Of Unions’ Contracts Had To Be Rewritten
Like Carteris, White gave kudos to the other unions involved in the talks, noting that “there were moments when each of us stood up for one another and held strong for the priorities of our unions. We stood strong with the members of the Teamsters, IATSE and the Directors Guild, and they did the same for us at very key moments. And it was only through that solidarity that we were able to push through and get done what we needed to get done.”
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s chief operating officer and general counsel, who played a major role in the negotiations, said “this started out as a process that we thought would be a lot faster, and instead took over three-and-a-half months to get this agreement reached. But I think it is really important and far-reaching, and it’s going to allow for a resumption of work in a way we haven’t seen yet, and I know that’s something that our members are extremely excited about.”
He stressed, however, that “it’s important to recognize that this is not about creating an environment that is 100% safe. There is not, during this time of COVID, a situation where we can guarantee 100% safety, or that producers or anyone else can provide for 100% safety. So in everything we’re doing, it’s about mitigating the risk and reducing the risk of COVID infection in connection with employment. And so every single member of SAG-AFTRA has to make the decision for themselves about what levels of risk they’re prepared to accept and whether it’s the right time for them to return to work. But for those who are ready to return to work, we believe that the protocols that have been agreed to with the producers and the other unions do provide a level of safety in the work place that makes it appropriate for people to be able to return to work. And that is a science-based decision – this is not a political decision; it is not an opinion or positioning. This is based on guidance that we’ve received from the epidemiologists and industrial hygiene experts who’ve consulted with us and the other unions and that have been a part of this process.”
As for commercial shoots, Crabtree-Ireland noted that “A similar process is going on right now” with the ad industry’s Joint Policy Committee, but noted that “it’s a little more complicated, because in the case of the AMPTP, all of the unions negotiate with the same negotiating partner. In commercials, SAG-AFTRA negotiates with one entity – the JPC – and the other three unions all negotiate with a separate entity – the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. So we are coordinating our efforts and we are trying to push forward basically similar protocols that would be adjusted for the purposes of the type of short-duration productions that most commercials are. In the meanwhile, we’re doing pre-production meetings with every single commercial that’s being restarted. That’s happening now to ensure that there are adequate safety protocols on a commercial-by-commercial basis that’s sort of like an individual negotiation with each commercial production. But we do expect to have protocols that will apply on a blanket basis to all commercials as soon as possible, working jointly with the other unions.”
The AICP and the Los Angeles County Health Department currently don’t require short-duration commercial shoots to test for COVID-19, but Crabtree-Ireland said the unions are lobbying county health officials to change that ruling. “We do want to see the L.A. County health order changed. We were not at all pleased with the fact that there’s this sort of mushy exception to testing for short-duration commercials and similar productions. We think that now, evidence clearly shows that it’s a mistake to have that kind of exception there, and we are working to have the L.A. County health officer to make that change. It hasn’t happened yet, but we are optimistic that it will eventually happen.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released the long-awaited guidelines for restarting film and TV production amid the ongoing pandemic, allowing filming in the state to resume on June 12.
While no one expects cameras to start rolling this Friday, wheels in the industry are turning in hopes to get to that point before the end of the summer.
“To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers,” the California Department of Public Health said in the guidance released via the Governor’s office.
Reaching an agreement on safety protocols between the management and the Hollywood union and guilds is the next big hurdle following the Governor’s sign-off. That sign-off came just days after the industrywide labor-management safety committee talk force organized by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the major Hollywood studios, submitted to the California and Los Angeles Governors a White Paper featuring health and safety guidelines for production during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IATSE Developing Protocols For Safely Reopening Live Events
I hear AMPTP is currency in discussions with the major unions and guilds that represent essential on-set staffers and talent, including IATSE, DGA SAG-AFTRA and the Teamsters. I hear the producers are carrying separate negotiations with each union that are often intersecting.
The hope is to reach deals with the unions/guilds so pre-production could start sometime in July if the rate of coronavirus infections and hospitalization in Los Angeles County does not trigger another tightening of restrictions on businesses. Given the complexity of filming during COVID-19 due to detailed safety protocols that need to be followed, pre-production — as well as actual production — are expected to be lengthier than normal.
Of the four biggest Hollywood production hubs, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Vancouver, three, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Vancouver, have set provisional production restart dates, all contingent on local health conditions and studio-guild agreements.
While Georgia was among the first states to reopen their economies, I hear Los Angeles-based productions may start first because plane travel continues to be a deterrent for talent due to COVID-19 concerns. Meanwhile, British Columbia continues to impose 14-day quarantine to anyone entering the country, which would include Hollywood actors and directors flying in to work.
Along with the major studios and streamers, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE (including the Art Directors Guild and the Costume Designers Guild), the Teamsters and others were involved in the process of crafting of the recommendations in the White Paper submitted to the Governors.
In another promising sign, at the document’s reveal, the unions and guilds all lauded it as a “solid foundation” and “a critical first step” in the road back to production.
But they also cautioned that more needs to be done. “The discussions will continue between the Producers, the Unions and Guilds over how it affects our respective agreements,” Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 said in a message to its members last week. “There is still a lot of work ahead of us to not only ensure the safety of our members on set, but also to ensure the jobs of our members and our collective bargaining agreements are protected throughout this process.”
So far, the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, has issued its own protocols. The other unions and guilds have said that they too are working on their own sets of guidelines which should be released in the coming days.
REXCLUSIVE: Olga Wilhelmine, SAG-AFTRA’s national board member from New Orleans, is on a mission. With so many of her fellow actors struggling financially during the pandemic, she’s trying to connect them with their unclaimed residuals.
The union is holding tens of millions of dollars in unclaimed SAG residuals for tens of thousands of actors and their heirs that it can’t locate. Wilhelmine wants to help find them and get them the money they’re owed.
She sent a letter to the union’s leaders this week asking them to establish a task force “to assist the Residuals Department with the location of members or their heirs and the distribution of their unclaimed residuals; and in establishing new procedures to expedite that distribution.”
SAG-AFTRA Urges Commercial Actors To Negotiate Added Pay If Asked To Perform Non-Acting Duties
In the meantime, however, she’s been reaching out to actors on her own whose names she’s found while scouring the union’s unclaimed residuals website, and is encouraging others to do the same. So far, she has assembled a small cadre of supporters who also are poring over the site, looking for people they know who have money coming to them. She’s also reaching out to charities to whom actors have bequeathed their residuals but have gone unclaimed, including the Actors Fund, the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.
“In two days I have found 20 people SAG-AFTRA owes money to,” she told Deadline. “I have spent my time explaining the process and putting together the best way to search and how to go from there. The amount of joy and gratitude expressed filled me with positive energy. It has been spiritually rewarding to be able to spend my downtime doing something positive for my peers instead of all the chaos, mayhem and stress. It is a way to pay forward and I am certain there will be many others inspired to take a crack at that long list to help find members who are due much needed money.”
Click here to see if you or someone you know is owed money – and how to collect it.
“As we face truly unprecedented times, the strain on all of us – every member of this great creative union – has taken a toll in ways unimaginable: on our lives, on our careers, on how we provide for ourselves, our families, our future,” she wrote in a letter to SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White. “And now, more than ever, we must also provide for each other and stand together as union brothers and sisters – as never before. And as the country finally begins the slow process of returning to normalcy – the immediate future remains uncertain. Even with the unwavering support and financial assistance of our venerated union and industry charities and foundations, we believe there is more that SAG-AFTRA can do to ease the continuing financial pain for many of our fellow members.”
SAG-AFTRA’s residuals department is dedicated to finding members and their beneficiaries have unclaimed residuals. The guild’s website tells members that “If the union is holding unclaimed residuals, it is because we can’t locate you. We may not have current or updated information in our database or we may not know you are the rightful beneficiary/heir.”
In 2016, the guild teamed up with the Association of Talent Agents to make it easier for thousands of actors to collect their unclaimed residuals. At that time, the union was holding nearly $50 million in unclaimed SAG residuals for more than 100,000 performers it can’t locate.
“With the help and support of the Association of Talent Agents, SAG-AFTRA has introduced an additional process to help performers collect unclaimed residuals,” the union said at the time. “ATA has volunteered to provide its member agencies with instructions on how their clients can determine whether they are owed unclaimed residuals and, if so, how they can get this money released. By partnering with the ATA in this way, SAG-AFTRA will be able to ensure that even tough-to-find members are able to collect the residuals to which they’re entitled.”
Wilhelmine believes that an unclaimed residuals task force could aid that effort. “Please consider exploring the implementation of what we consider to be this essential new task force,” she said in her letter to the union’s leaders. “Our members, past and present, are due this money and we should, as a community of professional performers, do the right thing and exhaust all efforts in distributing these funds – in the spirit of true union solidarity. Let’s make this happen together.”
The letter was co-signed by Chuck Slavin, a New England local board member; Chip Carriere and Lance Nichols, members of New Orleans’ local board; Peter Antico, a Los Angeles local board member; Julia Schell, a New York local convention delegate, and New England members Andrea Zangla and Lori Vozzella.