Thesp classified as fee-paying non-member

Here’s your nomination; now stay away.

That was the message Jon Voight got last week following Tuesday’s announcement that he had been nominated for a SAG award in the telefilm/miniseries category for his performance in ABC’s “Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.”

Voight was subsequently notified he won’t receive an invite to the Feb. 5 awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium because he had resigned previously from the guild and is currently classified as a fee-paying non-member, according to SAG spokesman Seth Oster. SAG president Melissa Gilbert has briefed the guild’s national board about the situation.

Oster had no further comment. The move to resign from the union is often known as seeking “financial core” status, which represents an avenue for members of unions to resign from full membership but continue to pay the portion of dues that go to contract-related activities. Members who take such a step can no longer vote on guild elections and contract ratification — or attend awards shows.

Voight was not available for comment. But the thesp was picketed two years ago by SAG when he shot a non-union film, “A Deadly Course,” with James Cromwell, Mike Farrell and Tess Harper among the participants.

“We find that this is a most egregious violation of the ban against non-union work,” a SAG spokeswoman said at the time. “This action is a part of our continuing organizing and contract enforcement programs.”

SAG’s Rule One explicitly bars its 98,000 members from working for nonsignatory producers, with violators facing fines, suspension and expulsion. SAG vigorously enforced Rule One during and after the 2000 commercials strike by expelling seven members for strikebreaking and banning 75 nonmember thesps for six months to five years for working on non-union ads.

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