“Collateral Damage,” indeed.
Just as California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing for a special election campaign that attacks the California Legislature and its public employee unions, the Governator is taking fire from his own union.
Team Arnold’s new anti-tax TV ad attacks Democratic legislators as being beholden to union interests, but turns out to have been a non-union shoot itself — an awkward situation for one of the highest-profile politicos to ever carry a SAG card.
Calls to Schwarzenegger’s press reps were not returned Tuesday.
The Screen Actors Guild issued a tersely worded scolding.
In a statement, a SAG spokesman said union leadership was “disturbed and disappointed” to learn the spot produced was non-union.
Schwarzenegger’s appearance in the commercial in his capacity as Governor was not a technical violation of Guild rules because elected officials who appear as themselves in commercials are not required to be covered by SAG’s Commercials Contract but SAG still vented its displeasure.
“His failure to cover professional performers and crews under industry-standard contracts definitely violates the spirit of what unions stand for,” read the SAG statement, “As someone who has benefited from the hard-won protections of union contracts and will continue to reap those rewards as he collects residuals and, ultimately, his pension, it is inexcusable that the governor did not take all measures necessary to ensure that his fellow performers could enjoy those same protections.”
“We hope that in the future he will follow the lead of many political leaders before him and produce ads under union contracts so that his fellow performers can enjoy the same protections that he has enjoyed throughout his career.”