LA public radio station KPCC hosted a short but sharply engaged debate between the head of the Unite For Strength opposition slate, Ned Vaughn and incumbent SAG President Alan Rosenberg.
It is odd to me that the President of SAG, who allegedly represents all of SAG members, would be willing to engage in the debate. It shows, of course, that despite Rosenberg’s willingness in the past to show some distance from his backers in Membership First he intends to lead the battle to defeat the new startup opposition group. Ironically, Rosenberg is defending Membership First’s continued control of SAG strategy even though he was reelected a year ago only with the support of MF opponents. MF supported Seymour Cassel against Rosenberg at the time because Rosenberg was expressing concerns about the direction that MF wanted SAG to head.
Once again, as in a recent KPCC debate with AFTRA President Roberta Reardon, Rosenberg could not help himself: here he starts out saying Vaughn and others are welcome to express their views in a democratic Guild election but then tells listeners that Vaughn should be “ashamed” for exercising that very democratic right!
Apparently the failure of Membership First’s strategy has left Rosenberg little that is positive to campaign on so he instead intends to sling mud at his opponents.
Of course, it is the “go it alone/last in line” strategy put in place by Rosenberg and his NED Doug Allen that has led to a situation where the contract talks have now dragged into the high summer and thus conflict with the fall electoral process.
Vaughn certainly is not to be blamed for that – as Rosenberg himself says, Vaughn was not at the table in the negotiations.
Vaughn for his part emphasized the key priority of the UFS slate: merger talks with AFTRA.
That certainly has to be a first step. The key advantage of actor unity would the possibility of a strong actors union providing unified leadership for all of entertainment industry labor, including writers, directors, actors, crew and technical employees. That is the only way for labor to respond to the unified global industrial block they face today.