Gilbert offers excuses for missing SAG strike

Thesp cites family issues, legislative efforts

With a month left before voting starts, the campaign for presidency of the Screen Actors Guild has flared up over the issue of Melissa Gilbert’s lack of participation in last year’s six-month strike.

Gilbert has claimed in a widely distributed message that she was busy with family issues during the period and noted that she had worked extensively on legislative efforts in previous years. She also reluctantly issued a recounting of her activities during that period, including several birthday parties, bone graft surgery, home construction, her nanny quitting, her best friend having surgery, her husband having knee surgery, a TV movie shoot and caring for a terminally ill dog.

“I really don’t feel that what goes on in my life is anyone’s business,” wrote Gilbert, who was elected to the national board member last fall. “Unfortunately, divulging this information seems to be the only way I can get my point across. My opponents are using that fact that I did not participate in the strike as a campaign tool. They have said nothing about my platform or my views.”

The issuance of the schedule has not calmed the situation, however. Stuntman and SAG member Glenn Malmskog, who led dozens of pickets as a strike captain after having his right leg amputated in March, has written a bitter response to Gilbert.

“I find your timeline excuse to be deplorable,” Malmskog said. “You want to be the president of our union and yet cannot be bothered to be present during its most important union actions in 10 years. I am a father and husband but I took time away from my family, my children and my wife during a high-risk pregnancy.”

Malmskog, who has become a firefighter since receiving his prosthetic limb, also told Gilbert, “I’m just a stuntman, not a big name A-list actor. I did not get to work during the strike and like many of my union brothers and sisters, I lived on savings and when that was gone, on the goodwill and support of my union.”

The other presidential candidates are Angeltompkins, Eugene Boggs, Arleen Goman and Valerie Harper.

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