9:26 PM PDT 7/22/2013 by Jonathan Handel
Was Roberta Reardon endorsed by the union’s secretary-treasurer and a past SAG president? Maybe three weeks ago –- or maybe not.
The quotes appeared in the press release under the heading “A number of National and former National Officers are also openly voicing support for Co-President Reardon.”
However, in e-mails to The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday, both Aquino and Masur said those quotes were not meant as endorsements. (When THR first reported the formation of NYC4U, neither Aquino nor Masur objected to the reporting of them as endorsing Reardon.)
On Saturday, Aquino told THR, “I am remaining neutral with regard to NY,” and added, “I have never been on record as endorsing Roberta Reardon or Mike Hodge for NY president, because I have never endorsed anyone in that race.” (Hodge tops the ticket for the heretofore incumbents, Unite SAG-AFTRA Nationwide, formerly United Screen Actors Nationwide, which despite its name is a New York group.)
In a July 20 e-mail to members, Aquino said, “USAN and NYC4U are each running many great candidates whom I know to be strong leaders, so I simply cannot endorse one over the other.” She added, “If you have questions about individuals, let me know and I’ll help all that I can.”
So where did the June 30 Aquino quote come from? Reardon was emphatic in an interview with THR on Sunday: “Amy gave us the quote. Amy wrote the quote. She has always been a supporter of me.”
While Aquino told THR the quote belongs to her, she denies that it was intended as an endorsement.
“I wrote it in response to hearing trash talk about Roberta’s character. Having been the target of similar attacks in the past I did what I’d wished others would have done for me, regardless of their political affiliations. I gave it to Roberta to use on the site to counter the slander.” But “once I saw it on the site I asked that it be removed as it gave the appearance that I was endorsing Roberta or the slate, when indeed I had not.
“The issue was have I ‘endorsed’? I have not. And I will not.”
The Aquino quote also contained a reference to, and short embedded quote from, Howard, implying he had endorsed Reardon. That’s not the case; he has endorsed Hodge for NY Local president.
Masur’s quote also appears also in a July 1 post on Reardon’s Facebook page, which shows it as part of a May 11 e-mail praising Reardon for the commercials contract.
On Saturday, Masur told THR: “I have not endorsed anyone in the NY Local Election at this time. The quote is accurate, but was from an email I sent out many weeks ago which was completely unrelated to this election.”
So why did Masur’s quote appear in the press release? Reardon declined to say.
Meanwhile, over at USAN’s home page, Howard’s picture predictably appears in a rotating slideshow, since he’s endorsed Hodge – but Aquino’s picture appears as well, with a heading “USAN Endorses.” USAN and NYC4U have both endorsed Howard and Aquino.
Hodge had no comment on the situation.
Hmmm…it seems like USAN/UFS endorsedments have the same tendencies as their campaign promises. They disappear!!!!
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
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