Despite the demands of the holiday season, the battle over the Screen Actors Guild’s upcoming strike authorization vote is picking up steam. Yesterday, an article on the Variety website touted the addition of more celebrities to the No SAG Strike petition; among the new signers George Lopez, Susan Sarandon, and Charlie Sheen. That petition drive kicked off three weeks ago and has accumulated 1,373 signatures as of Sunday.
Meanwhile, over on the SAG website the number of actors who have signed the Statement of Support for a yes vote on the strike authorization ballot is up to 2,300. There are superstar actors on this list as well including Mel Gibson, Martin Sheen, and Holly Hunter. The ballots to give the guild’s negotiating committee authority to call a strike if it becomes necessary go out to the 100,000-plus membership on January 2, 2009.
Celebrity names are a good way to get media attention, nevertheless, they do not really say a lot about the thinking of the rank and file. Most of the SAG members aren’t superstars earning million dollar salaries with a slew of representatives to negotiate lucrative contracts for them. Instead, most are struggling actors, taking part-time jobs to make the rent and basically living paycheck to paycheck.
The thousands of average SAG members depend on the union to look out for their best interest and make the best possible deal for them. Maybe that’s why SAG President Alan Rosenberg doesn’t seem to be too upset by recent attacks from superstar members. He knows who he’s really working for.