Morgan award will not be presented as union sorts out rules

SAG-AFTRA’s Los Angeles local will hold its first membership meeting Dec. 3 — but without the usual accompanying fanfare of the presentation of the Ralph Morgan service award, as the 8-month-old performers union sorts out new procedures.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at the Sportsmen’s Lodge, often the site of membership meetings, and is open only to SAG-AFTRA members. Los Angeles co-presidents Gabrielle Carteris and Ned Vaughn will chair the event.

Previously, the Screen Actors Guild’s summer Hollywood membership meeting usually drew several hundred members and had been used in past years to present the Morgan award.

That award, named for SAG’s first president, has been presented in recent years to Kent McCord (“Adam 12″), Scott Wilson (“In Cold Blood”), Yale Summers (“Daktari”), former SAG president Kathleen Nolan (“The Real McCoys”) and notably to “Titanic” actress Gloria Stuart two years ago in an emotional ceremony at the Sportsmen’s Lodge.

However, members of SAG and AFTRA voted overwhelmingly in late March for a merger, which created SAG-AFTRA as the successor union with about 165,000 members.

The fate of the Morgan award is in the hands of a recently appointed awards committee that has not yet met. Board members Jenny O’Hara and Janette Gautier are the co-chairs of the new committee.

The constitution of the new union, which now has 25 locals, requires a minimum of one membership meeting per year for each local. Leaders of SAG-AFTRA have set in motion plans for next year’s elections and board structure, which will be in place next September, with Los Angeles allocated 28 of the 70 board seats and New York 16.

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