HOLLYWOOD — A plan to reduce the Screen Actors Guild’s national board from 105 members to 62 and give Hollywood reps a majority appears doomed.
Vote counters believe the proposal, set for consideration at this weekend’s board meeting, will not pass due to virulent opposition from reps of regional branches and New York. Proponents have insisted SAG needs to take such steps to cut costs, but opponents have played on fears that the board restructuring will lead to most of the two dozen branches being closed.
The issue has emerged as a major power struggle between forces loyal to associate national exec director John McGuire, who is based in New York, and Hollywood-based SAG prexy William Daniels. It heads the list of bitter disputes tearing at the guild as it heads into contract negotiations with studios and networks.
“The bottom line is that the branches do not want to give up their power even though it’s out of proportion to their numbers,” one insider said.
The proposal — which will be considered on a roll-call vote — would give Hollywood 34 of 62 seats, including the slots going to the president and the secretary-treasurer based on the formulation that Hollywood’s members comprise 53.5% of SAG’s 98,000 members. Currently, Hollywood members are repped by only 51 of the 105 seats due to provisions giving seats to branches with as few as 100 members.
The plan would allocate 15 seats to New York, based on its 25% share of membership, while the remaining 13 seats would go to the branches, based on their 21.4% membership, based on allocation of one seat for every 1,757 members. As a result, some of the smaller branches would have to join together in electing a single rep.