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SAG-AFTRA Merger Approved by Board of Directors! Member vote next! Stars respond!

If you watched the SAG Awards last night, SAG President and upcoming guest-star on The Young and the Restless, Ken Howard,  revealed that the two acting unions, SAG and AFTRA were very close to an approved merger, as both union boards have approved the merger.  Now, it goes to its members for the final vote.

Seems many stars are mostly in favor of the merger and some cautious, according to Deadline.com, “The view of the pending SAG-AFTRA merger on the red carpet before last night’s SAG Awards was mixed.  Supporters far outnumbered detractors but many were cautious in their enthusiasm and concerned about potential hidden traps in the deal’s fine print. About 10% of the attendees, including SAG president Ken Howard and Alec Baldwin, wore SAG-AFTRA One Union lapel pins. Leading the support was Meryl Streep, who replied, ”The merger? I’m in favor of it.” Added Kenneth Branagh: “I do think that the whole debate has been very passionate. My feeling has been, as a 20-year guild member and as a member of AFTRA, to observe that the people are trying to protect the rights of actors and those who work in our business. So that ultimately is the end here.  Democracy has to be at work here. People have to take their own view on it. And this has to be very rigorously scrutinized and it will be.”

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) tweeted last night after the announcement on the live SAG Awards telecast, “SAG didn’t want to join with AFTRA last negotiations because they thought soap actors (Aftra) were losers. Now they love us. Angry!”  
AFTRA released its own press release on the status of the approval and negotiations  saying, “The National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, recording artist and other performers who work across the spectrum of media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings and digital media – today voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend to the AFTRA membership a plan to merge with Screen Actors Guild.

The vote was 94%-6% in favor. The AFTRA National Board’s resolution will provide for the referendum material to be mailed to AFTRA members on or about Feb. 27, 2012, with a ballot return and tabulation deadline of March 30, 2012.

This time frame was created  to avoid interfering with the ratification period for AFTRA members to vote on the tentative agreement for the AFTRA Network Television Code (“Front of the Book”) – the union’s largest contract that covers programming in all television day parts (except for scripted primetime programs on the major networks and the CW, which are covered under the AFTRA Exhibit A contract) and programming produced for digital media.

The AFTRA National Board unanimously voted to recommend the terms of the 2011-2014 Network Television Code agreement to AFTRA members for ratification. Ballots on the Network Television Code will go out on Monday, Jan. 30 with a return date of Feb. 22.

The Merger package outlines the merger plan, dues and finance structure, membership requirements and other basic attributes of the successor union, including the proposed name for the new union, which is SAG-AFTRA.

“I applaud the AFTRA National Board for their overwhelming approval of this historic merger package. The partnership we formed on the G1 was one of collegiality and consensus that went into laying the foundation for a new union. This plan embodies the thoughtful work and valuable perspectives from large and small markets across the nation of many working actors, broadcast professionals, recording artists and other performers who all worked together in solidarity through the G1,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “I thank the G1 for their good work, and the National Boards for their approval and we will now present this plan to the members of AFTRA and SAG for their review and approval.

“We now have the opportunity to finally stand united through one union to secure more union work and better benefits for our members, and for the generations of entertainment and media professionals who follow us,” she added.

On Friday, the SAG National Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved the same merger package with a vote of 87.1% – 12.9%. With AFTRA’s vote, a referendum will be sent out for a vote by members of both unions.

In voting for the package, AFTRA National Board members passed a resolution that read, in part: 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Board, in accordance with its authority under AFTRA’s Constitution, approves the merger documents and the merger of AFTRA and SAG into SAG-AFTRA, a unified, powerful union committed to organizing all work in our jurisdictions, negotiating the best wages, working conditions and health and pension benefits, preserving and expanding our members’ work opportunities, vigorously enforcing our contracts and protecting our members against the unauthorized use of their work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Article XX of AFTRA’s Constitution is interpreted so as not to apply to a transaction, such as this merger, in which all of AFTRA’s rights, liabilities, contracts and collective bargaining agreements will be assumed, without impairment or interruption, by a successor union; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the National Board expresses its deepest gratitude to and commends the members of AFTRA’s New Union Committee and AFTRA’s staff for their herculean efforts and extraordinary work in completing the merger documents and concluding the merger negotiations.

The G1 began meeting in June of 2011 and held a total of five rounds of meetings to create the successor union merger package. The meetings followed an historic Listening Tour conducted by AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon and SAG National President Ken Howard. The G1 voted to approve the merger package on Jan. 16.

The Network Television Code contract generates more than $250 million a year in member earnings and covers a variety of media and entertainment professionals, including sportscasters, broadcasters, actors, singers and talk show hosts. Current programs covered by this contract include: “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Voice,” The Young and the Restless,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Nightline,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”

So just how will this impact soap operas and their stars?  Stay tuned!

 

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Marqui
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Marqui

As I watched the SAG awards last night I wondered why there is not a category for Soap Actors.

Judy
Guest
Judy

I agree. Although they did include Mary Fickett (original Ruth Martin, AMC) and Doris Belack (Anna Craig, OLTL) in the Memorium segment.

Debi
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Debi

I am very interested in how this will affect soaps. At least the ones that have no plans of cancelling.

Gloria
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Gloria

Is it just me or is this not very interesting?

Brian
Guest
Brian

??? Does any of this mean “One Life To Live” is coming back? lol

gloria
Guest
gloria

We sure wish!

General Hospital

The Cast of General Hospital: The Alzheimer’s Storyline – Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’

General Hospital’s depiction of the battle of Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects the dying, and the loved ones they leave behind, came to its heartbreaking conclusion this past week on the ABC daytime drama series.

Led by storyline standouts: Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Max Gail (Mike), who once again acted their hearts out in their final scenes together, the entire ensemble of actors who were part of this storyline each had their moments and each delivered that made Mike’s passing all the more poignant.

In a first since we started giving out our weekly kudos several years ago, Michael Fairman TV is giving our Power Performance of the Week to the cast of GH who participated in last week’s scenes for their work as an ensemble.

From Laura Wright’s beautiful goodbye scene as Carly with Mike, where she dreams of him telling her she is a ‘daughter to him”, to Steve Burton’s all-knowing Jason, who tells Mike he will take Sonny and not to worry, to Michael (Chad Duell) and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) picturing how key moments of their life would look with Mike being witness to it, and the advice he would give his grandchildren, to Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) finding out that Mike is dying while being so far away from his family – each of these beats brought even more heart-tugging moments to the ending of Mike’s journey.

Even the actors who played a part in Mike’s care were touching as Vernee Watson’s Stella prepares Sonny on how to help Mike pass before saying her final goodbye to her friend.  Then there was Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel), who helped Carly and Sonny through Mike’s last moments at Turning Woods, who was also trying to keep it together through his sadness. Brando (Johnny Wactor) showed up at Turning Woods too, trying to make peace with the death he saw in the war in Afghanistan and now losing Mike.

Of course, there was the surprise moment where Mike is met by his late daughter Courtney and escorted to heaven that both Alicia Leigh Willis and Max Gail played so beautifully without saying hardly any words.

But in the end, it was Maurice Benard who showed us the devastation and acceptance of a son having to let his father go, while trying to make peace with their troubled past that was acting at its best, and perhaps some of the finest in his storied daytime career  – and there was Max Gail – the centerpiece of the storyline – who’s emotional heart was seen in all the scenes last week with the actors as the characters visualized moments with Mike.  Throughout the entire story, Gail played the tragedy of a human being trapped within this horrific disease with brilliance.  He will be missed.

So, what do you think of our choice of the cast of General Hospital for this week’s Power Performance of the Week?  Share your comments below.

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General Hospital

Holly’s Alive as Emma Samms Makes a Return to General Hospital

Friday’s cliffhanger ending of General Hospital revealed that Holly is indeed alive and being held captive, but by whom?  Who ever is behind this has her locked away and being watched on a surveillance system.

Viewers saw a hand of someone that is behind the kidnapping, and that Emma Samms made a return to GH in her signature role of Holly Sutton.

Samms, debuted on GH back in 1982, and has come and gone, and come back again to the ABC daytime drama series.  She last appeared back on it in 2015.

Nighttime soap fans remember her fondly as Fallon on ABC’s Dynasty and its spin-off, The Colbys.

Courtesy/ABC

Once the secret was out on her appearance at the end of Friday’s episode,  Samms shared on Twitter: “She’s alive…!”

So what do you think of the twist? That Holly is alive and that Samms was on-screen? Who do you think has Holly? Share your theories below.

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General Hospital

Michael Easton and Rebecca Budig’s Short Film “About a Girl” Receives ‘Outstanding Achievement’ Honor

While you loved them together on-screen on General Hospital as Hayden and Finn, off-screen. Rebecca Budig and Michael Easton came together for a stirring collaboration that just won them accolades at this year’s Best Shorts competition.

Best Shorts is an avant-garde worldwide competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality shorts and new media.  This film festival receives thousands of submissions from around the world.

About a Girl is directed by Easton while Budig wrote and starred in the short film. lt was honored with the Outstanding Achievement award, which is one of the top two most prestigious given out in the competition.

The story features Budig as a woman struggling with post-partum depression.  The festival said in a review of About A Girl:Deft direction, beautiful craft, achingly authentic performance by Budig.”

Rebecca shared on Twitter after receiving the accolade: “I am so humbled and honored to be included and awarded by @bestshortsand thank everyone involved.”

Two of Easton’s former OLTL co-stars, who have appeared his other short films, Trevor St. John (Ex-Todd later Victor Lord Jr.) and Sherri Saum (Ex-Keri) also appear in About a Girl.

Congratulations to Michael and Rebecca on their winning short  film! Share your kudos via the comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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