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Hollywood SAG members speak up for Allen

January 22, 2009 |  7:06 pm

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Embattled SAG Executive Director Doug Allen got a boost from his supporters in Hollywood.

Allen's supporters issued a statement today saying a majority of Hollywood Division board members strongly backed their leader, who has been on the job for two years.

"He is a true unionist and the strongest and most dedicated National Executive Director/Chief Negotiator the Screen Actors Guild has seen in decades,'' said the statement, which was signed by 34 actors, including Justine Bateman and Scott Bakula.

They also took direct aim at Allen's detractors, who've accused him of mishandling contract negotiations with the studios. "They've pursued a campaign to confuse and frighten the general membership," the actors said of Allen's critics. The actors also said they support Allen's proposal to suspend the union's strike authorization vote and allow members to vote directly on the studio's final contract offer.

Although the board majority urged Allen to call off the strike vote, originally set for Jan. 2, they oppose having members vote on the offer as is. Instead, they argued, the union should first seek to negotiate better terms.

It's not clear what effect the show of support will have on Allen's fate. Moderates, who command a majority of votes on the national board and will ultimately have final say on whether he keeps his job, are continuing to seek his ouster.

— Richard Verrier

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