Peter Antico, a veteran stunt coordinator and actor, has announced his candidacy for the presidency of SAG-AFTRA.
Antico, who made the announcement on his Facebook page, 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.”
“SAG-AFTRA is run by actors who are not educated in corporate finance, nor governance,” he said. “We must restore ethics and sound business practices to SAG-AFTRA, through education, transparency, love and forgiveness. We are all responsible, good or bad, for what has taken place in SAG-AFTRA to date. Join me in affecting a change that benefits the ideology of the highest good for all.”
The election will take place in August with all dues-current members eligible to vote. The performers union has about 160,000 members. Antico is the first candidate to announce that he’s running for the post, which has a two-year term.
Current SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris has not announced whether she will seek the post. Carteris was selected by the board in April to replace the late Ken Howard to serve the remaining 16 months of his term after he died on March 28.
Howard, who was supported by the Unite for Strength faction, was re-elected to a two-year term to the presidency over “Home Improvement” star Patricia Richardson in 2015 with 53.7% of the vote, garnering 16,233 votes to Richardson’s 13,976. Richardson was supported by the self-styled progressives of the Membership First faction.
Antico told Variety that he’s running independently rather than allying with Membership First, who he’s criticized for not being forceful enough in opposing Unite for Strength and David White, the union’s longtime national executive director. He has asked repeatedly for a forensic audit of the SAG Pension and Health Plans — which are operated independently of the union — and blasted the current leaders for negligence and overspending.
“The UFS party has wasted 16 million dollars of your dues money renting empty office space in NYC while voting up over 1 million dollars in executive staff raises while the stunt people have to share a department with singers and dancers because we are underfunded (so they say),” Antico said.
“The lack of funds are from negligent business practices originating from the UFS National Board members,” he added. “This financial negligence was never disclosed by our secretary treasurer, our president, or the UFS-run finance committee. The lack of transparency practiced by our executive staff will not be tolerated any longer.”
Antico also admitted that his Facebook posts about running for president had been removed twice in the past few days for allegedly violating the social media site’s terms of service. He said he was uncertain what had caused the removals, but speculated that his posts had been reported as spam.
“All members of Unite for Strength or any SAG-AFTRA member,” he said. “I welcome you to refute one fact I have posted with data to back it up. You can not hide from the truth.”