It's been easy to forget that a possible Screen Actors Guild strike is looming over Hollywood like a cloud of L.A. smog. We haven't even talked about it in almost a month. But just because no one is paying attention doesn't mean it's gone away. Quite the contrary in fact.
The latest development (really more of a non-development) was on Saturday, when the SAG board backed its negotiators' efforts to gain more control (and money) from web content that features SAG actors.
The guild probably didn't celebrate Tom Hanks urging ratification of the AFTRA contract, either. See, the leadership is urging AFTRA (a sister union; many actors are in both unions) not to ratify, because ratification might make it more difficult for SAG to negotiate. In fact, it's become something of a battle between SAG and AFTRA. Two weeks ago, in fact, SAG falsely claimed Hanks and George Clooney were anti-AFTRA. If there was any lingering doubt, I think Hanks' signature on the email shattered that.
Perhaps the intoxicating knowledge that they're working in a fairly recession-proof industry has gone to the heads of those actors at the top of the Screen Actors Guild hierarchy. It's the only thing that could explain why now, when the economy has reached the "crisis" stage and is in the proverbial crapper, would SAG decide to put a strike authorization to vote. Yes, now. Awesome idea, guys!