Lively campaign probable due to turnout
High-profile members running include two Oscar winners –incumbents Richard Dreyfuss and Cliff Robertson — along with Maria Conchita Alonso, Tom Bosley, Seymour Cassel, James Cromwell, Richard Crenna, Morgan Fairchild, Mike Farrell, Frances Fisher, Valerie Harper, Jane Kaczmarek, Diane Ladd, Esai Morales, Tony Roberts, Fred Savage, Sam Waterston and Noah Wyle.
Former SAG prexies William Daniels and William Schallert are also running, in addition to Daniels’ wife Bonnie Bartlett and Bruce Boxleitner, husband of current SAG prexy Melissa Gilbert. A few high-profile board members, including Tess Harper and Sally Kirkland, have declined to run, as has Tom LaGrua, who headed the last two negotiations with agents and studios.
The heavy turnout signals the strong probability of a lively campaign over the next two months, with ballots mailed Aug. 26 and results announced Sept. 25. Since the election is the first in a reorganization to cut the size of SAG’s 107-seat board, all seats are open except those of Gilbert, secretary Elliot Gould and treasurer Kent McCord.
The Hollywood contest drew 109 candidates for 31 board slots and 21 alternates; the 48 New York candidates are vying for 15 board slots with 10 alternates. Another 22 slots will be filled by regional reps.
These are the key issues to have emerged so far:
- Whether SAG should revive its expired partnership with Hollywood agents after members voted in April against easing agency ownership rules in SAG’s master franchise agreement
- How strongly should SAG enforce its contracts, particularly its Global Rule One effort to insist that members work only on union contracts overseas if the project is aimed at the U.S. market
- How strongly should SAG battle AFTRA over jurisdiction and whether SAG should revive efforts to merge with AFTRA, three years after members voted against doing so
- Whether SAG board members should be required to meet a “working in the trade” rule requiring them to work a specific number of days per year in order to be eligible.
Contest is also the first since the unprecedented move in January to throw out last fall’s election due to rules violations by SAG staff. Two of the execs who oversaw that contest have announced their retirements.
Gilbert’s allies have organized under the United Screen Actors banner in New York and the Restore Respect campaign in Hollywood. Gould and McCord have helped form the Leadership Coalition in Hollywood, and former New York prexy Lisa Scarola is leading the Clean Slate candidates in Gotham.
Richard Thomas Allen
Chris M. Allport
Maria Conchita Alonso
Charley De La Pena
Joan Del Mar
John Michael Ferrari
Leo D. Frank
Robert David Hall
Peter Asle Holden
Sonya Y. Maddox
Robert Duncan McNeill
Mark S. Reed
Jean St. James
Jerry G. Velasco
Vivicca A. Whitsett
De Wayne Williams
New York candidates:
Milagros De La Rosa
Lois Fern Hamilton
Howard I. Laniado