It was a surreal when-worlds-collide scene during the SAG solidarity rally today held outside the union’s headquarters, which are conveniently located across the street from Variety.
The rally was designed to be a demonstration of SAG’s resolve to fight for a “fair deal” and make it crystal clear how SAG feels about the primetime contract that its fellow actors union AFTRA just reached. The “vote no” chants and frequent cries of “AFTRA sucks” from the crowd left little doubt where SAG leaders come down on how the unions’ 44,000 overlapping members should vote, as Variety‘s ever-laboring Dave McNary reports.
But as I made my way closer to the speakers platform where SAG’s Alan Rosenberg and Doug Allen were speechifying, I was stopped dead by the presence of an Other. I started to hear the whispers. I ducked, scanned Wilshire Boulevard for signs of Smokey, and then looked up at the turquoise sky to make sure that a commercial airliner wasn’t about to explode overhead.