Warren Beatty, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson
At a meeting of Hollywood's most respected stars – including Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Meryl Streep – a majority encouraged the president of the Screen Actors Guild to move forward with a vote on a possible actors' strike, a top entertainment writer reports.
A spokeswoman for SAG told Sharon Waxman, the author and former New York Times writer behind the WaxWord blog, that the guild meets often with high-profile actors to discuss a possible strike.
"We have met with high profile actors on sets and elsewhere to discuss various issues throughout our negotiations," Pam Greenwalt told Waxman. "We do not publicize the meetings nor do we release details."
Waxman initially said the meeting was last month, but later removed that from her posting.
After talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed again last week, SAG announced Saturday it plans to ask members to pursue a strike vote.
The actors and producers disagree over compensation for work reused or made for the Internet. AMPTP wants the guild to follow pacts already signed with the other major actors union, as well as the writers and directors.
Waxman reported SAG President Alan Rosenberg had invited the actors, who also included Nick Nolte and Annette Bening, to an Italian restaurant to give their thoughts on a possible strike while the guild was still negotiating with the producers. The actors did not share their thoughts with the group because they were asked to write them down on slips of paper. Waxman cited a person who attended the meeting and spoke to her on condition of anonymity.
SAG's 120,000 members have been working under a contract that expired June 30. It called the producers back to the table in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the recent writers’ strike that shut down the TV industry for three months and cost the Los Angeles-area economy an estimated $2.5 billion.
SAG needs 75 percent to approve the strike authorization, and the final decision would lie with its national board.