SAG frowns upon non-union work with new PR campaign

LOS ANGELES: The Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) is using a September 9

party honoring Emmy nominees and presenters to highlight an information

outreach program warning guild members of possible penalties for

participating in non-guild-sanctioned overseas productions, or


The "Global Rule One" campaign will remind members of SAG's first dictum

that they are not allowed to work for "any producer who is not signatory

to the applicable SAG contract." The ban has existed since the

organization began in 1933, but has been loosely enforced for overseas


But the recent explosion of shoots in foreign locales has brought the

rule to center stage. SAG argues that such productions often don't make

contributions to the guild health and pension plans, have lower safety

standards, and don't offer residuals to the actors.

"It's for the actors who do work up in Canada," explained SAG spokesman

Greg Krizman. "Many of our members are primarily concerned with the

'show' part of the word 'show business,' and the business elements they

sometimes leave to others. They need to become more personally


Krizman wouldn't disclose the campaign's budget, but said most work

would be done in-house using already planned industry events such as


SAG will also hold internal and branch meetings and seminars, and ask

high-profile members to decline overseas shoots. The September event, at

hip Hollywood hangout Deep, was planned with the help of Los

Angeles-based People's Revolution PR.

The campaign comes in the midst of heated guild elections between

presidential front-runners and '70s icons Melissa Gilbert and Valerie

Harper. Gilbert told Daily Variety she would like to debate the issues

in public, but Harper declined, saying guild business should not be

aired in the media.

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