Doug Allen, the Screen Actors Guild's stalwart advocate for strike authorization, on Monday may have been ousted as lead negotiator with producers — although his exact status remains unconfirmed.
While Allen will continue as national executive director, his reported removal from the negotiation helm followed hours of closed-door sessions with members of the guild's board on the first of a two-day, emergency meeting, Variety reports. SAG's more moderate faction is reportedly pushing to nix the strike authorization vote altogether, an effort that may have included Allen's ouster, or a move toward it.
Following the Variety report, Allen's specific status as negotiator was questioned on Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily. Finke insists that, while Allen's dismissal from the role may have been discussed in Monday's sessions — if not presented in a motion — sources tell her that as of time of publish, a board vote on the matter had yet to take place.
In recent months, Allen has pushed for the guild to authorize a strike vote, arguing that it would persuade the majors to enhance their actors' contract. SAG leaders contend that the contract producers are offering doesn't adequately pay actors for videos that are streamed online. They also believe actors should earn more from DVD sales, and deserve pay and control over product placements in shows and movies.
Producers, meanwhile, have insisted that they're unwilling to budge — strike or not. In the face of a worsening economy, opposition to the strike vote within SAG membership has gathered steam, creating an increasingly wide rift between factions. Talks between the actors and producers have been stalled since the spring.
What's your take on Allen's possible ousting? Would it be positive for SAG, or a big mistake?