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Monday, 29 October, 2001, 11:14 GMT
Clooney 'angers' US actors' union
George  Clooney
Clooney: "Let people chase their dreams"
Members of US union the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) are angry that George Clooney recently criticised its decision to expel three strike-breakers, according to reports.

Clooney spoke out last week when the SAG decided to expel members Mario Barbieri Cecchini, Gerry Donato and Robert Kalomeer, trade newspaper Variety reported.

The three had worked during last year's commercials strike.

SAG board member Tom Bosley said Clooney, the star of O Brother Where Art Thou?, did not have the full story, and that the board could not disclose details of their cases.

US actors' strike
The threat of US actors' strike was resolved in May
Clooney, who also offered to pay their fines, was reported as saying last week: "I suggest that in this time of healing we accept all of the actors' apologies, attach fines appropriately and fairly and let people go about the business of chasing their dreams."

Variety said that Bosley wrote Clooney a letter in response, saying: "I was one who voted to oust these three members for reasons far more severe than just breaking the strike line, working or auditioning 'struck work'."

The actor also received a letter from SAG member Gary D Mosher.

'Just'

It described how Donato had allegedly punched Mosher several times on a picket line, Variety reported.

"The lifetime ban for Gerry Donato was not only fair, it was deserved," Mosher was quoted as saying.

Clooney had said the punishments were not equivalent to those given to actress Elizabeth Hurley and golfer Tiger Woods, who were fined $100,000 (69,000) each for performing non-union work.

But Bosley said those punishments were "just" and the fines helped members who had been on strike.

'Wrong'

He added: "There are so many ways you can help your fellow SAG members.

"Offering to pay to have three people, who hurt their fellow actors, restored to the ranks of membership is wrong and will never happen."

Clooney did not comment further, Variety added.

Earlier this month the US actors' union backed its UK counterpart over a planned strike by British actors that is due to start in December.

SAG urged its members not to sign up for UK films that could hamper British union Equity's chances of striking a new deal with producers.

See also:

18 Sep 01 | Film
UK actors opt for strike
18 Sep 01 | Film
Film industry's strike dread
23 Oct 01 | Film
US actors back UK strike
01 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Tiger faces strike hearing
05 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Equity anger at Soapstars
29 Aug 01 | Film
Hollywood slump hits UK film
29 May 01 | Film
Equity threatens strike action
01 Jun 01 | Film
Equity pay talks begin
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