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SAG-AFTRA Committee Denies Protests Over Gabrielle Carteris’ Re-Election

SAG-AFTRA’s national election committee has denied all protests over the re-election of Gabrielle Carteris to the SAG-AFTRA presidency in August.

Carteris won the contest handily to remain as top elected officer of the performers union with 13,537 votes, or 44% of ballots cast, compared to 10,682 for Matthew Modine; 5,048 for Jane Austin; 1,096 for Queen Alljahye Searles and 367 for Abraham Justice.

“We conclude that there was no violation of the SAG-AFTRA Constitution, the Election Policy, or federal election law,” the committee said in its ruling. “Accordingly, we dismiss all post-election protests.”

Los Angeles board member Brian Hamilton, who had filed one of the protests, confirmed the denial to Variety and said that he and other protestors would probably meet shortly to discuss filing a protest with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Hamilton alleged in his complaint that the two August airings of the Fox series “BH90210,” in which Carteris starred as the president of a fictional actors union, amounted to “a not-so-subtle national commercial” for the Carteris campaign. The series is a reboot of the original “Beverly Hills 90210,” in which Carteris played the brainy Andrea Zuckerman.

Carteris is also one of the executive producers of “BH90210” and goes by the name “Gabrielle” in the series as president of the “Actors Guild of America.” Ballots went out in late July and had to be returned by Aug. 28. Hamilton said the airings on Aug. 7 and 14 mean that Carteris was given a nationwide primetime broadcast TV ad by Fox.

“These episodes aired during our union’s election period while thousands of members had voting ballots in their possession,” he said. “This is about Gabriel Carteris receiving something of extraordinary value directly from an employer (Fox) which clearly gave her candidacy an unfair advantage in the election.”

U.S. labor rules in Title IV Section (g) of the Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act say: “No moneys of an employer shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any person in an election subject to the provisions of this title.” Also in his complaint, Hamilton attested that Carteris received “preferential treatment” from the union when she took credit in her candidate’s statement for a new deal with Netflix since that deal that was not approved until several weeks after candidates’ statements were due in June.

Other protests were filed by a group called the Background Artists Coalition and by Adam Nelson, Modine’s campaign manager.

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