Showbizreporting's Blog

June 2, 2009

Doug Allen Steps Down From SAG (Jan. 26, 2009)

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 2:13 am

Doug Allen steps down from SAG
Move follows brutal battle over negotiations

Doug Allen
is stepping down as national executive director and chief negotiator of the Screen Actors Guild following a brutal internal battle over how he’s handled SAG’s long-stalled negotiations.

Allen notified staff Monday afternoon of his departure via an email that thanked them for their work.

The move came a few hours after SAG’s elected delivered a “written assent” document to SAG headquarters in Hollywood authorizing the replacement of Allen as national executive director. The signatures represented 53% of the national board.

Former SAG general counsel David White will serve as interim executive director. The move came two weeks after the moderates were blocked by filibuster from ousting Allen at a marathon board meeting.

“This unprecedented level of obstruction has paralyzed the Guild,” the moderates said in a statement.

SAG had no immediate comment. But president Alan Rosenberg, who’s orchestrated the filibuster, told Daily Variety, “This is the darkest day within my memory. It kills democracy at SAG.”

Allen has been in his dual slot as national exec director and chief negotiator for two years. He has a year to go on his contract, which pays about $500,000 annually.

The moderates — who were blocked during a marathon Jan. 12-13 meeting from voting on Allen’s removal — also said that SAG senior adviser John T. McGuire will replace Allen as chief negotiator of all SAG contracts.

Additionally, the moderates said they will replace the feature-primetime negotiating committee to complete the long-stalled negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

“In a meeting two weeks ago, a majority of the board sought to make the crucial changes now contained in the written assent, but were derailed by President Alan Rosenberg and a minority of board members through endless parliamentary games and improper behavior,” the moderates said. “By filibustering for over 28 straight hours, they prevented the Board from ever taking a vote on the majority’s proposal. This unprecedented level of obstruction has paralyzed the Guild.”

The moderates said that the “written assent” step is included in SAG’s constitution to allow a majority of the board to take action outside the boardroom if necessary.

“While extraordinary circumstances may require the use of written assent, we do not believe it is a desirable way to conduct Guild business,” they added. “In this case, the unrelenting obstruction by a minority of board members has left us no alternative.”

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