The Screen Actors Guild, the trade organization representing movie and television actors, has announced that Alan Rosenberg was elected the 24th president of SAG in an election taking place late last week.
Rosenberg succeeds Melissa Gilbert, who served as president since 2001 and chose not to run for a third two-year term. Rosenberg received 39.99 percent (10,748 total votes) of the nationwide vote of the Guild’s general membership, defeating Morgan Fairchild and Robert Conrad. Rosenberg will formally assume the office of Guild president on September 25th and will serve a two-year term.
This move is of some relevance to game creators since Rosenberg heads the Membership First faction of SAG, which takes a harder line against all contract negotiations involving SAG members. Membership First was largely responsible for rejecting the initial agreement
between the guild and game companies regarding video game voice acting earlier this year, even after it had been approved by the SAG negotiation team as well as the AFTRA.
However, since the videogame industry has only just struck a new contract with the SAG, one which does not include residuals, and which isn't due to expire until December 31, 2008, it's unlikely that the result of the elections will have short-term consequences for videogames, though it may present issues for other Hollywood creators.
In fact, Rosenberg's winning statement heavily hints that, if he or another Membership First-affiliated person is in charge when the game contract is renegotiated, residuals may again become an issue, as he commented: "I will fight like hell to get actors their fair share. For working actors the stakes have never been higher. Our employers must understand that we will aggressively protect the interests of working performers – and we will not yield on residuals. The coming months are going to be particularly challenging as we negotiate new Basic Cable Agreements, prepare for the renegotiation of the Commercials Contract and continue to work towards a solution to the impasse with talent agents."