SAG leaders nix board meet

Toppers want to avoid confrontation at this point

SAG chief Bob Pisano and prexy Melissa Gilbert have again thrown cold water on efforts by Hollywood board members to reassert SAG oversight of agents.

The Screen Actors Guild leaders have denied a request for an emergency meeting of the Hollywood board on the agency issue. Holding such a confab could have enabled the Hollywood board to publicly endorse setting a Jan. 1 “drop-dead” date for agents to sign the expired SAG master franchise agreement.

The request came after Pisano and Gilbert canceled the Sept. 5 emergency meeting of the SAG national board.

The cancellation and now subsequent rejection of the Hollywood request come amid criticism that the pair have repeatedly stalled any kind of confrontation to force the tenpercenters to endorse SAG’s expired agency accord. The national board meeting was canceled after 56 board members, mostly from New York and regional branches, successfully sought to deep-six the confab.

Pair see no need for sesh

In a response letter to one sent by a majority of the Hollywood panel, Pisano and Gilbert said there was no need for a formal Hollywood board meeting.

“Since all but two of the Hollywood members of the National Agent Relations Committee are members of the Hollywood Board and signers of your letter, it is obvious that you have the information you seek immediately and conveniently available,” they wrote and suggested instead that an informal informational meeting be held.

Issue on Oct. 12 docket

The volatile agent issue will come before SAG’s national board on Oct. 12 — nearly six months after SAG members voted down a revamp of the master franchise agreement, thus effectively removing agents from SAG oversight: Agents refused to endorse the old accord because it didn’t include changes they sought, including loosened restrictions on financial interest.

If SAG sets a “drop-dead” date, members would face discipline if they are signed with a talent agency that refuses to endorse the expired agreement.

The issue has been deeply divisive among SAG leaders. Gilbert and her allies have contended that SAG should avoid such a confrontation at this point.

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