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Dispatches from the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles...

Former Screen Actors Guild president Ed Asner appears in the morning of the first day of Summer Press Tour 2008 to plug one of Hallmark Channel's glutinous new TV movies, "Generation Gap." Asner plays a cranky grandfather who takes on his rebellious teenaged grandson for the summer to teach him a thing or two and they all live happily ever after.

Actor Ed Asner. (Frederick Brown/Getty)

But TV critics mostly wanted Asner to talk about a possible SAG strike.

(The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists had not yet announced whether members had approved their group's new contract with Hollywood studios. The Screen Actors Guild had waged an aggressive war against the AFTRA deal, urging the 40-thousand-ish people who were members of both guilds to reject the AFTRA pact. Conventional wisdom held that if the AFTRA deal got approved, SAG would not be able to push a strike vote of its members through.)

"I knew that would be the first question," Asner grumps. "I have no idea - I doubt it. The town has been fairly terrorized this year and actors certainly don't have any more guts than the average person so...

"They realize the tremendous cost and I think they will probably, if push came to shove, vote against it. I myself would vote for it, but I would be in a minority, but I usually am."

--Lisa de Moraes

By Michael Cavna  |  July 8, 2008; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2008  
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Thanks for blogging--hope you'll keep us posted on the press tour and the AFTRA/SAG mess! I for one hope the AFTRA contract gets ratified by a wide margin and that SAG feels forced to accept a similar deal. I think it's outrageous that SAG thinks it deserves a better deal than the other unions got this year, and if I were a member of AFTRA, WGA or DGA, I'd be really upset with the SAG leadership for thinking they deserve something better than everyone else got. Also, I think everyone in the industry (not to mention us viewers) will be furious if SAG forces another work stoppage.

Posted by: Amanda | July 8, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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