JAMES BATES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Judging Amy" star Amy Brenneman was there with an
arm around co-star Tyne Daly. A bearded Noah Wyle of
"E.R." sat with actor Richard Dreyfuss. Actor William
Baldwin recited the line he uttered once in a New York
lottery ad. Comedian Buddy Hackett said that in his
hometown of Las Vegas, "We only fold in poker."
As they do for telethons and awards shows, the stars
came out Tuesday morning for a sweltering pep rally in
the lobby of a Wilshire Boulevard building jammed with
hundreds of noisy rank-and-file actors. The idea was to
show that members of the Screen Actors Guild and the
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are
still united despite the stalemate in their six-week strike
against the advertising industry.
Actors, who chanted, "We won't back down!" and, "Union
united, we'll never be divided!" timed the rally to coincide
with a meeting in New York called by a federal mediator
who is trying to push both sides back to the negotiating
Late Tuesday, both sides reported that despite lengthy
discussions, their separate talks with the mediator ended
with no new talks scheduled. Both sides had been
expected to stay in New York had progress been made.
Advertisers are seeking to pay actors a flat fee that they
say is higher than the current system that pays residuals
each time a commercial airs on network TV. Actors
consider that a rollback, and want to be paid residuals for
commercials that air on both network and cable TV.
Hanging over the rally was the prospect of further labor
strife next year, when SAG's contract with the studios and
The strike's main casualty appears to be what had been a
vibrant, growing commercial production business in Los
Angeles. Film office officials estimate that 25% of
commercial production has fled to other regions since the
strike began May 1, costing the area about $ 50 million in
lost production work.