Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Please Don't Skip The Commercials

Hey folks...

I wonder if I could ask a favor of you. A few months ago Trish did a commercial for Regence Blue Cross (you can see it by clicking here - choose the commercial entitled "My Sister's Battling Breast Cancer"). All of the actors in the commercial are talking about cancer-related things, and there's a guy playing bocci ball (Trish herself is walking a dog through the park the commercial takes place in).

Here's where the favor comes in. There's been some difficulty regarding pay for this commercial, and there's been a claim that it's no longer running. Now, we saw it ourselves last week, and several folks have told us they've seen it very recently (There's another Regence commercial about high blood pressure, folks are on a bus I think, and some of the actors from that spot are having the same difficulty, so you could keep an eye out for that one too if you like, I'll pass it along to the SAG staffer who is looking into it.).

The problem is, to get an inquiry/claim process going, I need to know when (date or day/time) and on what channel(s) those commercials are running. So, the favor is, if you should see either of these commercials while watching TV, would you please jot down that info (the time, date and channel) and email Trish? We'd be tremendously appreciative... Just let her know "cancer" or "blood pressure", the date (or day of the week if you don't know the date :) and what channel/network.

It's ironic that this should come up now, while the Writer's Guild is striking. Situations like this are exactly the reason the entertainment industry unions exist; one actor/ writer/ director can't do much against corporate producers when they aren't paid for their work, or when their contracts aren't honored. Sure, they can launch an independent law suit against the producers... but I think we all know how much most artists make on a daily basis. Court costs against a giant, corporate-backed producer would be prohibitively expensive.

Organized labor, however, can provide such funds (if necessary), and has the capacity to enforce contract terms when they need to be. In the most extreme events, they can even keep the members of their union from working for a production company that doesn't honor its contract (or, in the case of the WGA strike, won't negotiate a contract to the majority of the members satisfaction).

Simply put, situations like the one Trish is currently in are why unions exist.

You can email Trish at We'll owe you, big-time. Thanks to anyone who'll take the time to help out if you see it. We'll try and steer some positive karma your way.