Haim Saban, who is relaunching the Family Channel as a
daytime kids network this summer, came under attack last week by the Screen Actors Guild,
which has directed its members not to work on any of his shows because the union alleges
he is exploiting actors, adult and child alike.
In an unusual move, SAG's National Board of Directors
voted unanimously to mount a public campaign against Saban, whose Saban Entertainment Inc.
produces Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Saban Entertainment is also a partner with
News Corp. in Fox Kids Worldwide Inc., which purchased the Family Channel last year for
SAG alleged that Saban -- who 'categorially'
denied the charges -- is the only major Hollywood producer who has refused to meet
industry standards for pay, benefits, residuals and working conditions for his employees,
including young actors who perform on his shows.
'Haim Saban has built his fortune through the economic
exploitation of children,' SAG president Richard Masur said in a prepared statement.
'In an extremely cynical manner, he has made hundreds of millions of dollars
marketing his programs and ancillary merchandise to children worldwide. ... As his
programming empire grows, so does Saban's responsibility to the performers who have
made that growth possible.'
After SAG levied its charges, Saban Entertainment shot back
with its own statement.
'We are outraged by the false statements made by
SAG,' the statement said. 'Haim Saban has established the highest standards and
In addition to creating thousands of jobs in Southern
California on various productions during the past five years, Saban and his company
'have contributed millions of dollars to many charities and foundations benefitting
children, and have been acknowledged by several children's organizations for their
generosity,' the statement said.
A handful of Saban's companies have contracts with
SAG, which will expire in June. But SAG talks with the Saban parent company broke down