Inside Move: SAG board balks on confrontation

Sept. 5 meeting for agency vote cancelled

To no one’s surprise, SAG punted last week on the divisive issue of regulating agents.

CEO Bob Pisano and prexy Melissa Gilbert delayed a showdown with Hollywood agents for another month, canceling a Sept. 5 emergency board meeting that could have set January 2003 as a “drop-dead” date for tenpercenters to comply with SAG’s expired master franchise agreement.

More than half of the 107-member board sought the delay, asserting the current board is a “lame-duck” body and that such a confrontational vote was ill-advised until after the board’s new makeup is decided in the guild’s Sept. 23 election.

If a “drop-dead” date is set, members could face discipline if signed with a talent agency that refuses to endorse the master franchise agreement.

SAG’s franchise agreement expired in mid-April when members voted down a proposed revampdespite campaigning by Pisano and Gilbert.

Board has not acted since then and is split between those who believe SAG needs to regain oversight of agents and those who want to avoid confrontation.

Those advocating a decision were left seething over the delay.

“The members have spoken at the ballot box,” wrote 7th VP Laird Stuart in a letter to Pisano. “You and the president have evaded, sidestepped and delayed putting the will of the membership in place. I am disappointed and ashamed of you.”

Gilbert’s opponents upped the ante again Sept. 5, asking Pisano for an emergency meeting of the SAG Hollywood board this week so it could recommend that the national board set a “drop-dead” date.

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