SAG UPDATE: Star power mobilizing “no” vote

More than 130 stars — including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Tom Hanks — strongly urged SAG members to vote down the guild’s strike authorization.

In a letter sent Monday to SAG leaders, the stars said a strike would create more economic hardship and called for SAG to unite with other Hollywood unions in three years. Doing so would be a way to “take the high road,” they added.

The letter was issued shortly before SAG president Alan Rosenberg spoke to an overflow crowd of several hundred at a town hall meeting Monday night at a New York hotel, Daily Variety reported.

Prior to the meet, New York board member Paul Christie described New York members as “ticked off” about the strike authorization.

“They already realize how hard they’ve been hit financially, and the idea that we’d be asking them to go out on strike, and the idea that they’d be asking the IATSE guys, the craft services people, AFTRA guys and everybody else to go on strike at this point, we think, is just insane,” Christie said. “I haven’t run into one person here who’s in favor.”

Rosenberg remained resolute, saying before the meeting, “In a terrible economy like this, it’s our responsibility to make sure our members aren’t thrown under the bus; that we’re not sacrificing disproportionately while the corporations set themselves up with billions of dollars in new media.”

But Alec Baldwin blistered SAG’s negotiating committee, which met 46 times with the studios between April and November, when federal mediation cratered.

“Nothing against them personally but they have failed as negotiators and they should step down,” he said after speaking during the meeting.

New York board member Sue-Anne Morrow said that message was delivered clearly to Rosenberg and national executive director Doug Allen.

“I think they’re hearing an enormous lack of support for how they’re handling the negotiations,” she added.