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SAG to Rally in 'Solidarity', AFTRA Says it Could be 'Illegal'

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UPDATE: About 500 people showed for the rally. See photos here.

This morning, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) will hold a "solidarity" rally at their Wilshire Blvd. Headquarters, a move the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) is calling decisive and possibly illegal. "It’s disingenuous of SAG to call it a ‘solidarity’ rally when it’s clear that it will be an anti-AFTRA rally,” said AFTRA President Roberta Reardon. The Writers Guild of America held a 100-day strike over contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, mostly over how to handle new media royalties, that ended earlier this year (at the cost of over $2 billion and 38,000 lost jobs). Now both actor unions are dealing with contracts renewals with the AMPTP, which expire June 30. On May 28, AFTRA reached a tentative agreement with AMPTP and last week, SAG sent a letter urging AFTRA to wait so that they could complete their own negotiations. However, on Friday, AFTRA's national board voted to send members the contract for ratification.

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"If AFTRA wants its lousy deal with the AMPTP, then let its members either ratify it or vote it down. And believe me, it's a really lousy deal," opined Nikki Finke at the LA Weekly blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily, on Friday.