×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA Presidential Candidate Pete Antico Blasts Union Leaders Following ‘Deadpool 2’ Stunt Death

SAG-AFTRA presidential candidate and veteran stuntman Pete Antico has blasted union leadership for failure to provide protection to the stunt community.

Antico issued a blistering statement to Variety on Tuesday, a day after the death of stuntwoman Joi “SJ” Harris on the set of “Deadpool 2” and a month after John Bernecker’s death on “The Walking Dead” set. Antico said both deaths are tragic.

“The stunt coordinators on those sets have vast experience tenure and are at the top of their game,” he said. “We have not received much information regarding the details of the incidents; however, I do know that the stunt community is not protected in our collective bargaining agreement and has not been for years. There are no qualifications for a stunt coordinator in our collective bargaining agreement. There never was. That is unconscionable. A producer can hire anyone who says they are a coordinator and most of the time you get what you pay for.”

Antico noted that there are no ambulances required on a set when action is being performed — a provision that he contends should be mandatory. And he has been alleging that changes in travel provisions in the recently ratified contract are problematic, pointing to president Gabrielle Carteris and national exec director David White.

“I can’t believe our current leadership under Gabrielle Carteris and David White gutted all safety out of our contract and actually pushed ratifying a deal that is a recipe for many more accidents and future deaths,” Antico said. “The rest periods given away in the travel provisions of our contract that was in full force for over 50 years have been given away. This means they can bring actors and stunt people in with a 10-hour rest period instead of a 12-hour rest period and coordinators who generally work 14- to 15-hour days on film and TV will not get the rest they need to ensure safety on the set.”

Antico said that coordinators are often prepping action in advance, many times with complex rigging involved in film, or with multiple TV shows in advance, resulting in turnaround times as short as nine hours.

“This practice is unsafe,” Antico said. “This lack of rest affects actors and the crew alike and is unacceptable and I am asking the labor commissioner to get involved.”

SAG-AFTRA issued a statement Monday in response to Harris’ death: “We are all grieving the tragic death of a stunt performer on the ‘Deadpool 2’ set today. Our hearts and prayers are with her family, friends and fellow cast and crew members. The safety of our members and other production professionals on set is a core concern and top priority for SAG-AFTRA. Accordingly, we are sending a field representative to Vancouver and are investigating the incident.”

Antico has received endorsements from Sylvester Stallone, Cuba Gooding Jr., Mickey Rourke, and Andrew Dice Clay, and asserts that he received the backing from the actors because they understand “the value of human life above all things, as well as ethics, principles, and honest business practices.”

Antico added that the government should intervene: “I am calling on the government to get involved to protect all members in our labor organization. I believe our current contract to be grossly negligent in the field of safety and feel that appropriate charges should be filed to protect us.”

Antico has been a longtime critic of SAG-AFTRA’s elected leadership and its executive staff. He has credits on dozens of films, including “Pearl Harbor,” “Danny Collins,” “Daredevil,” “Training Day,” “Monster Trucks,” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”

Antico is one of five candidates seeking the post along with current president Carteris, national board member Esai Morales, and independents Robert B. Martin Jr. and Marilyn Monrovia. Ballots went out last month to about 144,000 members and must be returned by Aug. 24.

More Film

  • Aisling Franciosi

    European Film Promotion Unveils 2019 Shooting Stars

    Aisling Franciosi (“The Nightingale”), Ardalan Esmaili (“The Charmer”) and Elliott Crosset Hove (“Winter Brothers”) are among the 10 actors and actresses who have been named as the European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars. Previous Shooting Stars include Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Pilou Asbæk and Baltasar Kormákur. The new crop of up-and-coming talent for the 22nd edition of [...]

  • Jodie Foster'Money Monster' photocall, Palais, 69th

    Film News Roundup: Jodie Foster to Direct, Star in Remake of Icelandic Thriller

    In today’s film news roundup, Jodie Foster is remaking Iceland’s “Woman at War,” the Art Directors Guild honors production designers Anthony Masters and Ben Carre, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” gets cast and Melissa Takal directs “New Year New You” for Hulu. PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT Jodie Foster will direct, co-produce and star in an English-language remake of [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Remake of Denmark's Oscar Entry 'The Guilty' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bold Films, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker’s Nine Stories banner have acquired the rights to remake the Danish thriller “The Guilty,” with Gyllenhaal attached to star. The pic won the world cinema audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was also named one of the top five foreign language films of 2018 by [...]

  • Toxic Avenger

    'Toxic Avenger' Movie in the Works at Legendary

    Legendary Entertainment is developing “The Toxic Avenger” as a movie after acquiring the feature film rights. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers. Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee for Legendary. Kaufman and Herz produced the original 1984 comedy, set in the fictional town of Tromaville, N.J., and centered [...]

  • Constance Wu

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Constance Wu in Negotiations for Romantic Comedy

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directorial debut on the project. She will be directing from a Savion Einstein script about a woman who becomes pregnant with two babies [...]

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal AoA

    Maggie Gyllenhaal on Why a Woman Director Doesn't Automatically Make a Story More Feminine

    Having a female director doesn’t automatically make a story more feminine, says “The Kindergarten Teacher” star Maggie Gyllenhaal, but when it comes to her film with director Sara Colangelo, she says the female narrative is fully encapsulated. “Just because something is written or directed by a woman doesn’t necessarily make it a feminine articulation,” she says [...]

  • Kevin Hart Hurricane Harvey

    Academy Looks Warily at Oscar Host Options as Board Meeting Looms

    Kevin Hart’s abrupt departure as Oscars host has left the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scrambling to find someone to take the gig. As of now, the situation remains fluid as the group’s leadership explores options, including going host-less, individuals familiar with the situation told Variety. The Academy was blindsided by Hart’s announced departure Thursday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content