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Tom Hanks enters SAG fray

Joins Clooney to move guild towards resolution

Tom Hanks has gotten involved in SAG’s stalled contract negotiations, joining George Clooney in informal approaches on behalf of the Screen Actors Guild.

The moves by the stars over the past week are aimed at nudging the guild and the congloms off their stalemate over the issue of when the SAG’s master feature-primetime contract would expire.

SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers had no comment late Wednsday about the talks. The moderates who gained control SAG’s national board last fall had indicated in recent weeks that they would be reaching out to the moguls.

Disney CEO Robert Iger and News Corp. prexy Peter Chernin helped craft the DGA and WGA deals early last year but had not yet intervened in SAG’s talks. Hanks and Clooney joined with Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep more than a year ago in urging SAG leaders to negotiate as early as possible.

Instead, SAG’s current deal expired nearly nine months ago on June 30 when the AMPTP made its final offer to SAG. The two sides nearly reached three weeks ago but those talks cratered over the issue of the contract expiration date.

SAG’s pushing for a two-year deal that would keep its expiration in line with the terminations of the DGA, WGA and AFTRA deals while. The congloms have insisted on a three-year term, asserting that it needs as much labor peace as possible and declaring that giving SAG a shorter term would break precedent.

SAG’s negotiating task force – installed by the moderate coalition that controls SAG’s national board — agreed to the congloms’ “last, best, final” offer on Feb. 19 but would not give in to the demand for a full three-year deal .

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