Laurence Fishburne, Billy Baldwin, Brenda Vaccaro, Screen Actors Guild president William Daniels and more than 300 other thesps took to the streets of midtown Manhattan on Tuesday.
The group was cheering a joint negotiating team from SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists as commercial contract negotiations with the American Association of Advertising agencies and the Association of National Advertisers resumed at the Sheraton Hotel at Seventh Avenue and 57th Street.
SAG and AFTRA are seeking an increase in residuals from commercials, a 20% hike for principal performers and other demands. SAG director of public relations Jayne Wallace said the increases are warranted by the expansion of cable TV. “Cable’s reach is greater than it originally was,” she says. “The amount of exposure and the amount of plays are far, far beyond what we thought they would be.”
Daniels, Vaccaro and others spoke from a dais on Seventh Avenue across the street from the Sheraton, addressing a crowd holding balloons and posters reading, “It’s broke. Let’s fix it.”
The contract, which is negotiated every three years, expires March 31.