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Garciaparra Joins Actors' Strike

Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and Tiger Woods are on the same team: They've joined a strike by TV and radio commercial actors against the advertising industry.

Garciaparra canceled a Dunkin' Donuts commercial shoot scheduled Thursday for Fenway Park in Boston, the Screen Actors Guild said. On Tuesday, Woods refused to film a Nike commercial at the golfer's home course near Orlando, Fla.

SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represent about 135,000 actors, authorized the strike that began Monday.

“Some of these people, that's their living. You've got to respect that,'' Garciaparra said Wednesday.

Dunkin' Donuts spokeswoman Jane Powell said Wednesday the company supports Garciaparra. Nike has said it was a joint decision by Woods and the company not to shoot the ad because of the strike.

William Daniels, SAG president and co-star of the ABC sitcom ``Boy Meets World,'' praised Garciaparra.

“He's hit a home run for us, and that's what we're seeing from all of our members,'' Daniels said Wednesday. Union membership is required for anyone who acts on TV or in movies, athletes included.

The strike on behalf of mostly anonymous actors has also received celebrity support from Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, the wrestler-turned-politician who remains a guild member.

During a visit to Chicago on Wednesday, Ventura came across a group of about 100 union protesters and asked reporters to step aside so he could shake hands with the group. As he left, the protesters chanted, ``Jesse, you're a member,'' and Ventura responded with a fist raised in salute.

But Ira Shepard, a Washington lawyer negotiating on behalf of the advertisers, said the union's support is not across the board.

Commercials were being filmed nationwide with both union and nonunion actors who weren't observing the walkout, Shepard said. He declined to identify any ad agencies or clients because, he said, that could expose them to the risk of union disruption.

The guilds have vowed to picket filming locations during the strike, which both sides have said could be protracted. A 1988 actors' strike lasted three weeks.

At issue is the pay structure for commercials. Actors get a minimum of about $478 for a day's work and also get “pay-per-play'' residuals of roughly $50 to $120 each time a spot airs on network television.

When it comes to cable TV commercials, performers receive only a flat fee of $1,000 or less for each 13-week, unlimited run. With two-thirds of all TV ads now being made for cable, actors are demanding that pay-per-play be extended to cable.

Advertisers want to extend the flat fee from cable to the networks.

On Tuesday, advertising industry representatives filed unfair labor practice charges against the unions with the National Labor Relations Board. The filing claims SAG and AFTRA are threatening to permanently ban actors who cross picket lines from the union.

The NLRB filing is groundless and without merit, the unions responded.


LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer, May 3, 2000, (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation

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