Los Angeles -- As part of a settlement following a nasty
brouhaha, the Screen Actors Guild and Saban Entertainment Inc. entered negotiations last
week for an agreement on children's live-action programming produced for syndication,
basic-cable and network primetime telecast, a SAG spokeswoman said.
Those talks were initiated as part of a 'letter of
adherence' that was reached between Saban and SAG earlier this month -- an agreement
that binds Saban to the union's basic contracts covering performers, settling part of
the union's pending dispute with the producer.
In a highly unusual move, in late January, SAG issued a
directive telling its members not to work on or audition for any Saban shows. SAG also
charged that Haim Saban, Saban Entertainment's chairman and CEO, was economically
exploiting child actors.
But in a joint statement issued by SAG and Saban, officials
said Saban had agreed to consolidate all of its existing SAG-signatory and nonsignatory
companies under one umbrella agreement based on SAG's basic contract. The
children's live-action programming was left to be resolved.
Saban is a partner with News Corp. in Fox Kids Worldwide,
which acquired The Family Channel last year for $1.9 billion.
The settlement was reached after SAG president Richard
Masur offered a personal apology to Saban himself 'for any unintentional comments
regarding his personal character resulting from communications issued to the Guild's
membership and the media.'
In a prepared statement, Masur said, 'Haim
Saban's personal involvement, which was missing in our previous discussions with
Saban Entertainment, has enabled us to move toward an acceptable agreement with his
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