Now that the WGA strike has ended, the focus shifts to SAG and their contract which expires on June 30th. Apparently Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiro and George Clooney speak for all of the actors, or at least the rich ones because they have taken out full page ads which are trying to drum up support for not going on strike on June 30th.
See, to the rich actors it doesn't really matter if they strike or not, because they have a dollar or two tucked away to save for a rainy day and probably can hold out just fine. It also doesn't matter what happens in the new contract because they will just get what they have always got in the first place. The SAG contract has never been about the big actors. It has always been about the epople who are acting and trying to survive.
SAG sets minimums and basic conditions that must be met on sets, and making sure some money goes into retirement and pension. The SAG contract is the floor. How often do you think Tom and George and Robert have been on the floor? The only time they ever take scale is if they are getting a huge chunk of the gross in the film. To them, SAG is more of an annoyance than anything.
To most of the 120,000 people in the union it represents health care at an affordable cost, a pension when they don't make enough to contribute to an IRA, and a wage which if they can find the work will at least let them live until they can find another job.
Obviously Tom and the gang could call Doug Allen who is the executive director of SAG, and so the ad is designed to appeal to the other members and to show the producers that they should not have any hard feelings against A listers.
In response to the advertisements, Doug said, the union would open negotiations “at a time that will most benefit all our members”. He might as well have added, but didn't, “not just the rich ones.”