The already-bitter SAG re-election took an even nastier turn Tuesday with candidate Valerie Harper accusing SAG prexy Melissa Gilbert of being a “pawn” for non-SAG constituents.
“Melissa Gilbert doesn’t want you to know what’s going on,” Harper said in a mass email sent to about 30,000 SAG members at a cost of about $2,400. “My opponents aren’t allowing Melissa to speak for herself for fear that she might have to defend her brief record as president. In just three months in office, Melissa has become a pawn for producers, agents, Canadian interests and even other unions.”
The move came in response to another paid e-mail sent out as authored by 1st VP Mike Farrell, a Gilbert ally, despite SAG rules saying that only candidates can send out such emails. In response to complaints about Farrell’s tactic, SAG’s election committee decided Tuesday to announce to members that Farrell’s had actually come from treasurer candidate Amy Aquino, a Gilbert ally.
Harper also said Farrell was trying to take attention away from Gilbert’s previously announced position in favor of easing ownership limits for agencies in SAG’s master franchise agreement.
Gilbert supporters have said Harper is resorting to “scare tactics and lies” about the negotiations. The unitedscreenactors Web site said “Had Valerie Harper been elected, we would have seen the end of the Agency Franchise, without ever giving you, the membership, the chance to have a voice in that decision.”