SAG Talks Going ‘Horribly,’ Chernin Says

Oct 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Peter Chernin, president and COO of News Corp. said today that labor talks with the Screen Actors Guild are going “horribly” and that if SAG called for a strike the results would be “devastating to the creative community.”
Mr. Chernin’s remarks may carry more weight than most as it was he, along with Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger, who are credited as being the two major forces on the studio side that helped hammer out an agreement with the Writers Guild after the WGA struck for 14 weeks starting at the end of last year.
“We have now made successful deals with virtually the entire Hollywood creative community” except SAG, Mr. Chernin said.
The problem is that SAG has basically told the studios that every other deal the producers have made “is not good enough for us,” Mr. Chernin said, characterizing SAG’s position. He called the deals that the studios made with the other Hollywood guilds “fair.”
Mr. Chernin made his remarks in a keynote interview this morning at the TelevisionWeek Innovation360 conference at the New York Marriott East Side hotel.
Given what’s happened with the economy, Mr. Chernin said, “I think it’s genuinely foolhardy to think this is an appropriate time for actors to go out on strike.”
Mr. Chernin reiterated the hard line the producers have held for weeks.
“We’ve made our final offer. We don’t want to send a false message that there is room for negotiation. We’re done,” he said.
He added that though the economy has suffered a significant downturn in recent weeks, “we haven’t taken that offer off the table.” The two sides have not negotiated since June 30th.
Mr. Chernin began his remarks about the labor situation by saying he has the utmost respect for the creative community and that in the WGA agreement “We created the precedent that writers deserve to be paid for digital content. That was a big hurdle. We actually sat down [with the WGA] and sorted out the fears and began to understand each other.”
(Editor: Baumann)


  1. Wow, in this economy, SAG is really taking a risk here. I think they’re out of touch with reality.

  2. When is it ever a good time to strike? When the economy is good and management can wait it out?? No Mike, there is an union and the best time to threaten a strike is NOW!

  3. The reality is that traditional broadcast television is dead and a new delivery model is about to take its place. Millions of viewers are already watching internet streaming programs on their TV screens and that number will rise dramatically. Why do you think every single network places promos in their shows urging you to watch full episodes on the internet? It’s because they know that in a very short while that will be the only place to view those shows and they want you to get used to it now.
    This new content delivery will pay absolutely no residuals which is the lifeblood of the average working actor, in this, or any, economic scenario.
    Fight on SAG.

  4. This is complete bs. A failed actor is enjoying the spotlight for the first time in his life, and he doesn’t want to let go. Ego pride b.s. is all this is. The writers strike has destroyed careers, savings of the majority of people in the industry, not to mention the countless behind the scenes workers and industries. These two are complete fools with no concept of reality.
    Any sag “member” with a card but doesn’t feed their family with legitimate acting work needs to shut the F*** UP. For some of us, this is our lives. Our savings, our food we feed our children with.
    If you don’t support yourself with a career you should not be allowed to vote on strike issues.
    Go back to your day job. Voting and talking out in support of a strike may make you feel like you’re finally part of something, but there is no room for ego stroking in this economic climate.
    These deals are in play for EVERYONE ELSE but SAG.
    Makeup does not make you special. Stop whining about imaginary new media money. Come back to it in 4 years when it might actually occur. Get these two fing clowns the hell out of the way.
    They are destroying the union. And they were voted out for a reason.
    Hey retards, SAG does not support you. We the members do NOT support your idiocy. I dare you to try to get us to strike.
    You will be INTERNATIONAL laughing stocks while you try to drum up strike support for actors while the ENTIRE WORLD is in the midst of an ECONOMIC RECESSION.
    WAKE THE F*** UP.

  5. People keep saying that the new technolgies will not allow for actors to receive residuals.
    This is not true.All the contracts provide for that, maybe just not enough. That can be fixed with the next round of contracts.
    No one is proposing making the Internet the only way to see TV shows and movies. WEe have heard people make that claim several times with nothing to back it up.

  6. So long, SAG…another list of jobs shipped out of the country.

  7. The technology supports fractional payments, and so does the WGA contract. If SAG strikes over saying that the WGA proportion is too small, then they are arguing over splitting up a pie that isn’t mixed much less cooked. Nobody knows what the online business model will be that succeeds. So having a claim on the pie is all one can expect right now.
    The WGA made a lot of enemies dragging out getting what was on the table from the start- the concept that there will be an online pie and that writers get some of it.
    Striking now will only encourage more outsourced work. Just as the studios can’t solve digital distribution (being so afraid of piracy means that they are missing the opportunities in internet technologies)the writers are unwittingly alienating the rest of the labor camp while making opportunities for writers outside their club.

  8. you guys sucks, really ! and on both sides ,
    movies aren t futile enought .
    get t work

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