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Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate.

Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others for his work on “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots.” Gould is a former board member who was nominated for an Oscar for “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” and is best known for his work on Robert Altman’s “M*A*S*H” and “The Long Goodbye.” Taylor Thomas is known for his roles on “Home Improvement” and voicing young Simba in 1994’s “The Lion King.”

Current board members Frances Fisher, Diane Ladd and Patricia Richardson are seeking re-election as Membership First reps. Jennifer Beals, Neve Campbell and Rob Schneider are also part of the slate, Variety first reported. Richardson is also seeking the presidency of the Los Angeles local.

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on Aug. 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers. Turnout is usually between 20% and 30%.

Modine and current secretary-treasurer Jane Austin are challenging Gabrielle Carteris, who has been president since 2016. Carteris is heading the ticket Unite for Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide — which have been the ruling factions at the union for the past decade with an emphasis on pragmatic policies.

“The Walking Dead” star Michael Cudlitz, “Riverdale” star Marisol Nichols and Patrick Fabian of “Better Call Saul” are among the notable actors seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as allies of Carteris. UFS has announced Camryn Manheim is running for secretary-treasurer while Jodi Long is seeking the post as Modine’s running mate.

Membership First is pledging to take a more aggressive approach at the bargaining table. SAG-AFTRA’s current master contract coveriing film and prime-time television expires on June 30.

“The most critical job of our union is to negotiate contracts with our employers,” the faction said. “The next big opportunity and challenge that we face is negotiating the upcoming 2020 TV/Theatrical Contract. MembershipFirst is committed to taking a much more aggressive approach at the bargaining table. We want to field a leadership team that truly understands the issues and will stand up to the employers who divide us, who use the soft language of intimidation and subtle threats that weaken our Union’s resolve.”

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