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Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

“One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by their community. Another important aspect of the SAG Awards is that it truly reflects what takes place culturally and inspires us all to do better.”

It will be fourth ceremony at which Carteris delivers a speech as the elected chief of the 160,000-member performers union.

“I usually only have a couple of minutes for my remarks and I feel that it is really important for me to be concise and precise,” she says. “For example, during the Harvey Weinstein revelations and the public recognition of the #MeToo movement, it was important to speak to that cultural moment in a thoughtful and meaningful way.”

The SAG Awards are one of the shorter major kudosfests, running between 5 and 7 p.m. PST for telecast on TBS and TNT.

“Our audience loves our two-hour show,” Carteris says. “They like the fact that we’re respectful of their time and that they get a fast and fun show. It stood out last year when recipients started talking about the important role of background actors. They are our most vulnerable members and having high-profile members speaking about their contributions was terrific.”

The past year has been perhaps the most memorable of her three-decades-plus career in Hollywood, including 147 episodes of
“Beverly Hills 90210.” She starred in Fox’s spinoff “BH90210,” oversaw a successor deal with the ad agencies, a new deal with Netflix and got re-elected president.

She’s been in the spotlight since the 2017, bombshell revelations about disgraced executive Weinstein. She has been working since then to ramp up efforts by the performers union to deal with increased awareness of sexual harassment. The new master contracts for SAG- AFTRA now include language limiting auditions in hotel rooms and private residences.

Carteris says SAG-AFTRA has also started prepping for the negotiations on a successor deal for its master contract on features and primetime TV. That contract expires on June 30.

“Strategy is the most important thing for me,” she says. “You can’t simply say, ‘Stop changing, industry.’ We have to reflect what’s going on in our work and protect our members by acknowledging these changes — making it work to their benefit. We will not be successful as a dinosaur holding on, saying that we refuse to change. Rather, our success will come in our ability to evolve.”

The 2019 SAG Awards saw “Black Panther” win the top award for performance by a cast in a motion picture while Rami Malek won the male actor prize for “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Glenn Close took the female actor prize for “The Wife.” “This Is Us” nabbed the ensemble award for drama, while “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the comedy prize along with Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub taking the comedy acting prizes.



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