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"Unite for Strength" wins majority of SAG Board seats

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You thought there was only one critical election this fall? True, the one in November may determine whether you eventually wind up on the streets and/or in a “detention facility,” but here in Hollywood we just had the SAG board elections, a kind of capper to Glitter Town’s own pre-financial collapse “year of the strike.”

We mean, of course, both the official and de facto kinds.

SAG has toiled along with no contract for months, some new TV shows are using AFTRA contracts instead, and a lot of actors want to get back to work, never mind the dollars they’ll get paid in will be worth about (fill in small percentage here) of what they woulda been once upon a time.

In any case, the “can we just get this over with, please?” faction — “Unite for Strength” — came out ahead in yesterday’s balloting. A good overview is available in a BBC article:

A breakaway faction within the Screen Actors Guild has gained a foothold on its ruling body, a win that could help break the deadlock over contract talks.

The Unite for Strength group won six of 11 Hollywood seats up for grabs in the union’s national board elections.

The insurgents also won 13 of the 22 alternate board seats in contention.

Unite for Strength blames the current leadership’s hardline stance for SAG’s failure to reach a new agreement with the major film studios.

Membership First, the faction led by SAG president Alan Rosenberg, won just five seats but still holds a majority on the board’s influential Hollywood branch.

The victorious dissidents include Kate Walsh and Amy Brenneman, two stars from Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice.

‘Clear choice’

Desperate Housewives cast member Doug Savant and Chicago Hope actor Adam Arkin were also successfully elected on Thursday.

Unite for Strength claim Rosenberg has mishandled contract talks and strained relations with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), SAG’s smaller sister union.

“We offered members a clear choice – end the fighting with AFTRA and instead partner with them to create a stronger union for performers,” said Ned Vaughn, one of the newly elected alternates.

More at the link…!

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