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Below-the-line picket at SAG awards canceled

January 25, 2008 | 12:23 pm

A threat by a group of below-the-line Hollywood crew members to picket Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles to protest the ongoing writers strike has been called off. In an e-mail sent to other crew members, set decorator Mel Cooper, who had called for the rally, said the picketing was canceled “due to the positive motion of the talks” now that negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are back at the bargaining table.

Thousands of people who work behind the scenes in movies and television, including vendors, have been adversely affected by the strike, which is now in its 12th week. Organizers had been hoping to picket the Shrine just as celebrities begin arriving in their limousines Sunday afternoon to gain maximum media exposure for their protest. Cooper said that if the current talks aimed at resolving the strike break down, they will plan another rally to highlight the financial impact the strike is having on their lives.

-- Robert W. Welkos