Petition puts Stitzel on ballot for WGAW board

Contender believes org needs to circulate more info to members

Robert Stitzel has been added to the list of 18 candidates for eight open seats on the WGA West board of directors, becoming the first candidate since 1996 to qualify for an election via petition.

Stitzel, a lifetime WGA member whose credits include “Distant Thunder” and “Brainstorm,” told Daily Variety he’s running due to what he perceives as a need for the WGA to disseminate more information to members. He opined that the lack of info has led to apathy among the 8,000 WGA West members, noting that fewer than 20% cast ballots in last year’s election.

Stitzel said he was perturbed over the lack of specifics earlier this year when the board gave a 10-6 vote of confidence to then-president Charles Holland amid questions about the veracity of his resume. “What rankled me was that there was no explanation as to why the board was backing Holland,” said Stitzel, who subsequently circulated a recall petition before Holland stepped down in March.

Stitzel volunteered last month to run for a board seat, but was turned down by the nominating committee. The deadline for submitting petitions is Friday.

Election, to be held in September, is likely to serve as a referendum on how WGA leaders have handled the guild’s stalled negotiations with studios and nets. The WGA’s contract expired May 2; no new talks have been scheduled.

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