SAG has warned members against signing new pacts with agents with less protection than terms provided in its now-expired master franchise agreement.
The guild, in a posting Friday on its Web site, said some agents have been offering the pacts — dubbed General Service Agreements — instead of the “standard SAG representation contract” under Rule 16(g) and asked thesps to notify SAG if such deals are offered. SAG did not disclose how many GSAs have been offered.
It was the second such warning to guild members since they voted down a revamp of 16(g) last month, under which agency ownership rules would have been eased. SAG and the agent trade groups that are signatories to 16(g) — the Assn. of Talent Agents and the Natl. Assn. of Talent Representatives — have not scheduled negotiations since the vote.
SAG said the GSAs retain the 10% commission rate but include longer initial terms; expand representation geographically and beyond work as an actor; expand commissions including all payments for film and TV, residuals, traveling and penalties; and tighten requirements for performers terminating contracts.
ATA exec director Karen Stuart disagreed. “SAG’s version of a GSA is misleading and demonstrates that it may not be in touch with the realities of the actor/agent relationship,” she said in a statement. “Clients of agents are well aware that their representatives remain committed to servicing them in a fair and just manner in the absence of a SAG franchise.”
Stuart also pointed out that ATA members remain franchised with other guilds and are licensed under state law. “SAG’s continuous attempt to discriminate and discredit agents can certainly not be in the best interest of the SAG members,” she added.
Attorney George Stohner, in a letter on behalf of ATA, has also notified SAG CEO Robert Pisano that the org objects to the guild’s recent updated posting of 370 “SAG franchised talent agents” but excludes many of the ATA/NATR shops.
Stohner said the posting represented an attempt to discriminate against ATA/NATR members and interfere with business relationships between agents and clients. He asked Pisano to explain the revised list and how any agent can continue to be SAG franchised.