In a full page ad in tomorrow's L.A. Times, the moguls speak up and sound oh so reasonable when they say: Actors, take the deal! Let's not have another strike!
It's hard to trust the moguls, to be sure. It feels a little bit like Wily Coyote warning Bugs Bunny to steer the runaway coach off to the left to keep from going off a cliff. We know better than to trust Wily Coyote. If he's saying turn, then you probably want to keep driving straight. But then, it does look like a pretty steep cliff.
"Because of SAG's failed negotiating strategy, our industry now faces the prospect of another destructive and unnecessary strike," says the ad signed by the heads of the seven major studios plus Les Moonves, the president of CBS. "Incredibly, this SAG strike would occur at a time when the national economy is reeling from a historic financial crisis. Just as stunningly, a SAG strike would be self-defeating from the start – with actors losing more within the first several days of the strike than they could ever hope to gain."
The ad pleads with members of SAG to reconsider their offer once again, and avoid a strike.
In the meantime, the guild continues to insist that its request for a strike authorization vote is merely meant to give them more clout at the negotiating table. I’ve yet to speak to a single rank and file member of the guild who believes this. (Last night, one member compared this strike vote to giving Bush the authorization to go to war in Iraq.)
Instead, the talk everywhere is that a strike is practically inevitable.
It feels very Bugs Bunny. And in this case, the guild appears to be headed straight for the cliff.