Saturday, March 3, 2012

David Clennon: A Hollywood union's 99% vs. 1% civil war.

Hi.  Before the Oscar glow vanishes, here's an insider's report on a huge struggle within the belly of the beast.
David is a long-time acquaintance whose politics and demeanor resenble his friend and often collaborator, Mike Farrell.
Contrary to his self description, he is not 'elderly,' having one or two pre-teenage kids, right now. He's also very funny.
Other co-workers who share his sdie of this struggle are Ed Harris, Ed Asner, and others in an accompanying video. 
And, there are many others.  I'm not sure how outsiders can help, but will pass on what comes to me.  -Ed
From: DavidClennon []
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 7:37 AM
Subject: A Hollywood union's 99% vs. 1% civil war , + requested bio and head shot.

Dear Ed,

Thanks for all the articles you've been forwarding.
Even tho' I may only be able to read 10%, just
by reading the titles, or the lead paragraphs,
I feel better informed than I would be without
your links and texts.

Now I want to ask you to think about putting out two links to a couple of my efforts to stop the 
Merger of two performers' unions -- the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA (American Federation
of Television and Radio Artists).

SAG has a (mostly) proud history as a fighting  union, standing up for ordinary, struggling actors,  and winning hard battles for better wages,  residuals (royalties), a good health plan and  a very good pension plan.  All these were made  possible by sacrifices made by generations  of actors who went before us.

AFTRA IS a weak, company union, which also  represents 44,000 actors (also members of SAG),  as well as "broadcasters," a category which  includes news anchors, field reporters, talk show hosts, sportscasters, recording artists (vocals),  announcers and all manner of "performers" who don't act for a living.

The 1% have taken over both unions and are  determined to render SAG toothless by yoking  it to AFTRA.  As with the US Congress, the 1%  don't have to run for election themselves.  All  they have to do is finance the campaigns of  candidates who think like the 1% and will  implement policy on behalf of their benefactors.

I wrote a piece which was published on the Dissident Voice website (have you heard of it?).
I've also done a short (under 5 min.) video, calling out the four most powerful actor-producers,
One-percenters who have endorsed and financed the present ruling parties of both unions.

Here is the link to The Dissident Voice article, which includes a brief Hollywood history to give
the "Clooney-Hanks Test" the proper context.   

And here is the youtube link to the video "Hanks, Clooney, DeNiro and DeVito Called Out!"

Both the article and the video are intended to be entertaining and informative polemics.

Many folks in the general public think most actors are rich and pampered.  Maybe that's the case for
the lucky 1% of our profession.  The rest of us are  hard-scrabble prospectors who occasionally hit
a small vein of precious metal, and hope to live off  it until we strike another.  We are the 99% of the
entertainment industry whose needs and hopes  don't coincide with the 1%.

I'm hoping that many of your friends, especially in LA,  will find this true-life labor battle interesting.

All best,

Dave Clennon

Your readers should also know that there is a great
alternative to the management friendly trade papers 
"Variety" and the Hollywood Reporter.  It is 
Nikke Finke's

BIO: Revised 2/24/12, 0940hrs 
Dave Clennon is an elderly, long-time member of the Screen Actors Guild.  The polite term is "veteran character actor."  His signature role was advertising mogul Miles Drentell on ABC's "thirtysomething," in the late 20th century (1989-91).  His avocation is political agitation.  (The hairs in his ears bristle if he is labeled a political "activist," a term he considers too vague and evasive.) He has been arrested several times for unruly conduct and, once, for "assaulting an officer," in connection with his agitational adventures.  When he had money, he was a "major donor" to the rebel forces in El Salvador's civil war, 1980-91 (his donations were in packets of $50 and $100 bills).  He worked for George Clooney in "Syriana," and for Tom Hanks in "From the Earth to the Moon."  Both experiences were "pleasant enough."  Recent jobs include "Weeds" and "NCIS" ("The original! Not the f---ing spinoff.")

Of the films and TV shows he has appeared in, his favorites are "Being There," "Missing," "The Thing," "Barney Miller," and the short-lived sitcom "Almost Perfect."  He considers his reception of an Emmy in 1994, "Meaningless! Pure dumb luck.  HBO practically bought it for me.  Anyone who takes pride in winning one is a witless popinjay!" and "Those journalistic twits will put that factoid in the lead sentence of my obituary and I won't be there to protest it!  It's a F---ing outrage.  I'm telling you, they're meaningless…. meaningless…."

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