Stuntman Pete Antico has gained endorsements for his candidacy for SAG-AFTRA president from Cuba Gooding Jr., Andrew Dice Clay, Mickey Rourke, Danny Aiello and Michael Madsen, Variety has learned exclusively.
Antico is one of five candidates seeking the post along with current president Gabrielle Carteris, national board member Esai Morales and independents Robert B. Martin, Jr. and Marilyn Monrovia. Ballot went out this week to about 144,000 members and must be returned by Aug. 24.
Nicky Whelan, Zoe Bell, Bruce Payne, Peter Dobson, Jeff Fahey have also endorsed Antico, who has campaigned against ratifiying the tentative agreement on a new master contract. for falling short for stunt performers, background actors, dancers, singers, and voiceover artists. Antico has also been stressing safety issues in the wake of the July 12 death of stuntman John Bernecker on the set of “The Walking Dead,” and asserted that SAG-AFTRA has not paid enough attention to stunt issues.
SAG-AFTRA has said it has launched an investigation into Bernecker’s accident in Georgia.
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“I haven’t received all of the facts to determine if there was negligence,” he told Variety. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a kind, good-hearted talent at such a young age. The reason I am so against this contract is that it guts all safety for stunt performers and actors.”
Gooding Jr. said, “Our union needs real leadership and that’s what Pete Antico is all about. He’s here to show us guidance and wake us up to the truth. I think the most important thing a union can have is an outspoken person who stands on his principles and morals.”