Gilbert re-elected; McCord slate wins 10 of 12
By DAVE MCNARY
The SAG split won’t go away. Though Melissa Gilbert won re-election as president over Kent McCord by 2,428 votes, her coattails did not extend to Hollywood. McCord’s Membership First coalition won 10 of the 12 national board seats, while Gilbert’s Restore Respect slate won the two remaining slots.
Those results, announced early Wednesday, portend that SAG’s internal squabbling will persist on a variety of issues. Gilbert’s supporters have opted for a low-key cooperative approach with the showbiz establishment while McCord’s side contends that SAG needs to be more assertive in advocating actor rights.
McCord’s slate was topped by Elliott Gould with 7,982 votes, followed by Diane Ladd (7,916), Joanna Cassidy (6,445), Anne-Marie Johnson (6,395) and Robert Hays (6,102). McCord supporters George Coe, Renee Taylor, Sumi Haru, Angeltompkins and Rosemary Forsyth also won seats. The only Gilbert supporters to win national board seats were Eriq La Salle, who came in sixth with 5,949 votes, and John Saxon; high-profile candidates such as Tess Harper, Loretta Swit and Rene Auberjonois fell short.
The showing was a reversal of last fall’s election, when Gilbert’s slate scored an overwhelming victory with 23 of the 31 Hollywood seats that were open. Additionally, McCord’s slate won 15 of the 22 slots for alternate national board members, who serve as replacements at meetings. Gilbert took a conciliatory tack during her post-election news conference Tuesday night but also pledged to pursue a merger with AFTRA, which McCord’s allies strongly opposed in the July referendum. The shift in Hollywood seats could give the anti-merger side enough votes to meet the 25% requirement that would trigger the issuance of a “minority report.”
McCord ally David Jolliffe, who won a Hollywood alternate seat, said future merger proposals will be opposed if they appear to be overly favorable to AFTRA. Gilbert supporters won the New York presidency and the four open board seats. The results also reflect the long-standing geographical divide within SAG, with Hollywood members generally supporting more aggressive positions while members in New York and the regional branches opting for a less confrontational approach.
Hollywood voting totaled 14,110 out of 53,155 ballots, or 26.6%; New York voting was 6,380 votes out of 23,305 ballots, or 27.4%; regional branches, 11,150 of 20,744, or 53.7%.
What the sweep of the Hollywood Board by the Membership First! slate mandates is a complete rejection of Consolidation by the Hollywood membership! Hopefully, Melissa will realize this. If not it will be another couple of million of our dues dollar$ down the drain.
A.L. Miller, editor SAG Watchdog