Dramatic tension became evident in the commercial strike between the actors' unions (SAG, AFTRA) and commercial producers yesterday.
Led by actors Tim Robbins, Tony Randall, Becky Baker, Dan Lauria and John Shea, striking actors demonstrated in front of Niketown on East 57 St., on Sept 14. Union sources said that at one point Robbins began stopping people on their way in to the store to introduce himself and ask them to consider not crossing the picket line.
"Some did and some didn't," said SAG's Bill McCarty, who was at the demonstration.
Meanwhile, the giant sportswear company, Nike was busy announcing a $100 million endorsement deal with golf star Tiger Woods. Sept. 15 news reports indicate that Nike had announced the endorsement deal on the same day as the demonstration. What makes that coincidence interesting is that SAG member Woods is facing a hearing initiated by SAG over non union work he did for a Buick commercial in Canada during the current SAG/AFTRA strike.
"Tiger Woods is a member and he did scab work" McCarty told Playbill On Line. "Regrettably, we have to describe him that way because he went to Canada and shot a commercial for Buick. He's a scab-—he broke our strike and he broke the picket line." McCarty said that if Wood' signs the pending $100 million endorsement contract it is not an issue in itself. "Signing the contract with Nike is OK," McCarty said, "provided if he doesn't do anything."
McCarty said the Niketown picket line had as many as 400 people in it and that the union seemed to be galvanized following a Sept. 7 rally at the Royale Theatre and a subsequent Sixth Avenue rally led by Paul Newman on Sept. 13.
-- By Murdoch McBride