Union's merger campaign logo to remain for now

SAG-AFTRA’s national board has decided by a narrow margin against adopting a proposed new for the performers union — for now.

The new logo, presented Saturday by union staff during the all-day board meeting, has not been disclosed outside the board room. It features the name SAG-AFTRA and a rendering of a male actor in what appears to be a dance pose.

Instead, the union will retain for now the black and gold “SAG-AFTRA One Union” logo that was created in support of the campaign to persuade members to back merging SAG and AFTRA last year.

A spokesperson for the union had no comment.

The new logo could still be approved after the board’s composition changes in the coming months. The current board has over 140 members repping 165,000 performers as a result of combining the SAG and AFTRA boards; the new board will contain 80 slots, filled following the completion of next month’s election and the September convention.

Saturday’s meeting included reports from co-president Roberta Reardon,  co-secretary-treasurers Amy Aquino and Matt Kimbrough and national exec director David White. Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland reported the union’s foreign royalties program has distributed more than $17.5 million to performers since inception.

That figure is $3.5 million higher than what SAG-AFTRA disclosed in May, when it said that it had distributed over $14 million in foreign royalties. The earlier dislosure came in response to the filing of a lawsuit by 16 members of SAG-AFTRA — including former SAG president Ed Asner — alleging extensive misconduct in its handling of foreign levies and residuals they are owed as part of $110 million held in trust by the union.

SAG-AFTRA has denied any wrongdoing and asserted that, were it not for SAG-AFTRA efforts, the money would otherwise go uncollected.

SEE ALSO: Ed Asner, 15 Others Sue SAG-AFTRA Over Unpaid Funds

The SAG-AFTRA national board is controlled by the self-styled moderates who successfully pushed for merger. Exec VP Ned Vaughn, the public voice for the Unite For Strength faction for the past five years, has decided not to seek re-election.

“I’m so grateful for the past five years,” he told the board. “I have truly learned and grown through my union service. Together we made history and created an organization that will benefit performers for years to come. I feel lucky to have been part of it and want to thank you not just for your leadership, but also your friendship.”

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