Reps 'One Strong Union' faction, challenges incumbent

Sam Robards is running for the presidency of the Screen Actors Guild’s New York division, challenging incumbent Mike Hodge, and leading a new faction dubbed One Strong Union in a challenge to the ruling United Screen Actors Nationwide.

One Strong Union unveiled its slate of 11 candidates Wednesday, the day after USAN announced a slate of 14 candidates for the board including comedian Lewis Black.

The faction indicated that it supports the upcoming vote to merge SAG with AFTRA and didn’t mention the pro-merger USAN slate. Candidates emphasized that they would provide “integrity, transparency and inclusion.”

“To deliver a powerful new union, one that will best serve SAG’s New York membership, we must have focused, knowledgeable leadership with extensive experience working our contracts,” Robards said. “That’s what I bring to the presidency. We stand at the threshold of a promising future. To cross it demands industry savvy, boardroom transparency and inclusive member involvement. Let’s create the future together. It’s time.”

Robards is the son of the late Jason Robards and Lauren Bacall and appeared with his father in 1988’s “Bright Lights, Big City.” Other credits include “Pret-a-Porter,” “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle,” “American Beauty,” and “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.”; he was nominated for a Tony as best actor for Arthur Miller’s “The Man Who Had All the Luck”

Robards is also seeking re-election to the New York board along with incumbent board members Justin Barrett, Andrew Dolan, Joe Narciso and Matt Servito. The other One Strong Union candidates include Corey Anker, Kelly Deadmon, Jeff Gruner, Phoebe Jonas and Gy Mirano.

Robards and Servito also sit on the national board. New York reps have about 25% of the seats on the 71-member national board. Ballots will go out next month, and results of the voting will be announced in late September.

USAN has been allied with the moderate wing of the national board, which has come to dominate during the past three years with the emergence of the Unite for Strength faction in Hollywood as it’s taken over from the self-styled progressives of the Membership First faction. USAN has faced little opposition in recent New York elections.

About a third of the 71 seats on the SAG board are up for re-election. SAG probably won’t announce the official candidates list until next week due to the need to check eligibility.

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