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Now the actors are griping about the Emmy changes

August 7, 2009 | 12:06 pm

Changes aimed at jazzing up the Emmy Awards aren't going down too well with the Screen Actors Guild, the big labor union that negotiates contracts on behalf of actors. Their complaint? Actors -- who love the limelight, after all -- wouldn't get the "recognition they deserve" under the award show's format tweaks, the guild says.

The board of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently approved changes that would shorten the presentation of many movie and miniseries awards by allowing producers to air edited versions of acceptance speeches during the Sept. 20 telecast.

But the move has drawn fire from the Writers Guild of America, a number of leading TV writer-producers and the Directors Guild of America, which called the proposed changes a "material breach" of its agreement with the academy.

Now, the Screen Actors Guild has weighed in. David White, interim executive director of the union, highlighted its concerns in a letter Thursday to John Shaffner, chairman and chief executive of the academy.

"The Screen Actors Guild remains concerned about the recommended modifications which, if enacted, would reduce the level of recognition that our members, and other talent, have come to expect and appreciate through your program," White wrote.

White urged the board to review further changes with "input from the guilds" to "arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to this situation."

A spokesperson for the academy didn't have any comment.

-- Richard Verrier