AFTRA slams SAG plan

Takeover of representation called 'arrogant,' 'dangerous'

HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions.

“Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares about actors — would seriously advocate such an approach,” he told Daily Variety.

Hessinger’s assertion came in response to questions in the wake of last week’s attempt by SAG prexy Melissa Gilbert to seek help from merger opponents to sort out jurisdictional questions. During the merger campaign, opponents proposed SAG take over all acting work and provide AFTRA with compensation to keep it solvent in light of its current $2 million deficit.

But Hessinger labeled the compensation-for-jurisdiction idea as “arrogant” because it presumes AFTRA-represented actors would desire such an arrangement.

He also said the notion was naive since AFTRA’s acting jurisdiction — which includes variety shows and daytime TV such as soaps — is not for sale and would be far outside SAG’s purchasing power if it were. And he called the idea “dangerous” because of the potential of performers losing collective bargaining agreement protections, including health and retirement benefits.

More Biz

  • L.A. Women's March: Scarlett Johansson, Viola

    Viola Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Others Rally Thousands at Los Angeles Women's March

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

  • Thousands of people gather holding protest

    Marchers Reference 'Get Out,' 'Black Mirror' at New York City Women's March

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

  • Los Angeles Women's March

    How to Watch the Los Angeles Women’s March Online

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

  • Lori Mccreary and Gary Lucchesi PGA

    How Harvey Weinstein Drove the PGA to Combat Sexual Harassment on Set

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

  • Bob Bakish, President and CEO of

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish Earned $20.3 Million in 2017

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

  • Ross Levinson LA Times

    L.A. Times Publisher Placed on Unpaid Leave Amid Sexual Harassment Investigation

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

  • Time Warner

    Judge Indicates Shutdown Won't Delay AT&T-Time Warner Antitrust Case

    HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger has blasted the notion that SAG should acquire AFTRA’s jurisdiction over acting work, a proposal that has been floated as an alternative to merging the performers unions. “Nobody with even a cursory knowledge of federal labor law or these unions — at least no such person who really cares […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content