Pro-merger websites like SAG Watch, alleged by some to be managed by an AFTRA official, are celebrating endorsements from two unions that are not exactly heavy weights in the film and TV business, the Musicians and Actors’ Equity, but there is no word there of support from two guilds that matter a great deal, the Writers’ and Directors’ Guilds.
Equity has had its own internal problems with intense battles for control of the top positions in the union breaking out periodically. They likely hope to merge themselves into the new SAG-AFTRA if it emerges after the ongoing merger vote and survives legal challenge by former Membership First activists.
The Musicians, too, have been the subject of merger speculation. They have to have been the most dramatic victims of new media technology so perhaps if they were also to join the new union conglomerate they could share their horror stories.
Of course, the WGA itself remains internally divided between its east and west coast branches and that suggests that merger is not critical to success as a union.
Meanwhile the DGA may be anxious that it will lose its historic role as the most producer-friendly guild if SAG members give in to the new conservative merger proposal.