With NEW Information According to the Hollywood Reporter: “SAG DISSIDENT group sets slate!” Huh? (Check out story for the names of Membership First Candidates and a few comments from your humble SW Editor & Chief along with the names of the CANDIDATES for the Restore Respect slate)
For the most part Jesse Hiestand’s Hollywood Reporter story is relatively fair and balanced, but it definitely doesn’t measure up to professional journalistic standards when it comes to its headline!
Now, originally we were blaming Jesse for the headline. But it seemed so incongruous that he would banner such a fair-minded piece with such an unfair headline that we had one of the hundreds of our SW reporters double check for us—and that reporter learned that the Hollywood Reporter Editorial staff is responsible for the Headlines of articles.
Gosh, if the Hollywood Reporter was covering national politics, I imagine the editorial staffs’ headline would be “Dissidents meet in Boston to elect a president.”
A.L. Miller SW’s Dissident Editor and Chief
Now just to be sure there is no mistaking the images that the word dissident conjures up, the Ol’ Watchdog went to Google, and typed the word “Dissident” into the image search engine. Here are just a few of those images.
And just to be certain that everyone gets what’s going on, here’s a quote from the story announcing the Restore Respect Slate entitled “SAG Candidates gear up for fall.” This story preceded and set-up the “Dissident Story” which followed the next day.
In that story Restore Respect supporter and current Sec/Treasure is quoted as saying “It is vital that we elect reasonable, rational board members ” Wink, wink, You know instead of “Dissidents!”
Okay, so Ol’ Jamie is entitled to his opinion but why does the Hollywood Reporter have to be a co-conspirator in painting those who disagree with him and his slate as DISSIDENTS? Hmmmm, I wonder if the Hollywood Reporter’s Editorial staff consults with CEO Bob on their headlines for stories about SAG? And would that make them “DIFFIDENTS”?
Anyway here’s the story.
SAG dissident group sets slate
By Jesse Hiestand
the Hollywood Reporter
The SAG faction that opposes the policies of the union’s current leadership released its proposed slate of candidates Monday for the fall board of directors election.
Membership First, who describe themselves as advocates for member rights and open governance, said their 35 candidates include actors who have become disillusioned with the union’s direction under SAG president Melissa Gilbert.
Membership First people often spar with Gilbert and her allies in the rival Restore Respect party, leading them to clash over such efforts as a proposed consolidation with AFTRA and a dues increases. Membership First controls the Hollywood division board, whereas Restore Respect has a majority of members on the more powerful national board. (SW Editor: Does this mean that the Restore Respect minority on the Hollywood division board are dissidents?)
There are 35 seats open on the Hollywood board, and the top 13 vote getters also get to sit on the national board.
Membership First said four of its members hope to get re-elected to the national board: Esai Morales, Frances Fisher, Angela Watson and Valerie Harper.
The party’s other candidates include former SAG president Bill Daniels; former treasurers Kent McCord and Yale Summers; former vps Laird Stuart, Robert Carlson and David Jolliffe; and Stuntwomen’s Assn. president Jane Austin.
Other candidates include Lou Diamond Phillips, Seymour Cassel, David Huddleston, Bonnie Bartlett, Alan Rosenberg, William Russ, France Nuyen, Robert Amico, Renee Aubry, Jeff Austin, Brad Blaisdell, Mark Carlton, Anthony DeSantis, Leigh French, Paul Hartel, Gretchen Koerner, Kurt Lott, Russell McConnell, Mark Reed, James St. James, Justin Shenkarow, Cynthia Steele, Jenny Worman and Mille Wright.
“It’s ironic that although we’ve been in the minority in the national boardroom, it turns out that our voting record reflects the majority of the membership,” Fisher said, citing the defeat of the dues increase by the general membership even though it was strongly supported by the national board. “When you do the math, you realize that Hollywood actors aren’t getting the representation they deserve, and we plan on changing that with this election.”
Restore Respect named their proposed slate Friday, though the guild has not yet certified the eligibility of candidates in either party to run.
*Comment in yellow was SW’s.
Notice now how the Headline of the story below announcing the names of the Restore Respect slate uses the word CANDIDATES. Hey, candidates conjure up images of democracy, apple pie and the American way of life. Here are a few Candidate photos from Goggle’s Images.
July 26, 2004
SAG candidates gear up for fall
By Jesse Hiestand
The opening volleys in SAG’s fall election have been sounded with the formation of candidate slates for the current leadership’s Restore Respect platform and their rivals among the MembershipFirst camp.
The most pitched battled will be for seats on the Hollywood board, which represents 54% of the guild’s 118,000 members and is controlled by MembershipFirst. The top 13 vote-getters in the Hollywood division also get to sit on the national board, though even a landslide by MembershipFirst will not be enough for it to wrest control of the national board from SAG president Melissa Gilbert and her fellow Restore Respect supporters.
The two groups also took the opportunity to take swipes at each other, reflecting the high stakes of the election.
“It is vital that we elect reasonable, rational board members to keep this union on an even and progressive course,” said Restore Respect supporter and current secretary-treasurer James Cromwell. “For too long now, our union has wasted time, energy and money on needlessly divisive political squabbling when the focus of our work should be to provide the best service and the strongest possible contract for our members.”
That was a not-so-veiled reference to the ability of the relatively small Membership First coalition to undermine key initiatives of the current leadership, including a proposed consolidation with AFTRA and recent dues increase.
“The differences between us are clear and distinct,” said Hollywood board member David Jolliffe of Membership First, who is running for another term. “We’re for an open, transparent union and are tired of the corporate mentality that has permeated our union, the conflicts of interest. We want to move our union forward in a forthright, positive manner and to protect rights and wages and working conditions of members instead of trying to give them away at every turn.”
Candidates for the New York division and 20 regional branch offices were not immediately available. All candidates are being vetted for eligibility, including those who may not be part of the two main parties.
Ballots will be mailed Aug. 25 and must be returned by Sept. 23, when they will be counted. The regional divisions may announce their results before that.
Besides SAG’s president and secretary-treasurer, the national board has 69 members — 22 from the regional branches, 33 from the Hollywood division and 14 from the New York division. Representation reflects membership trends as the New York region has 24% of members and the regions represent about 22% of members.
National board members serve for three years, while local board members get a one-year term and serve as national board alternates.
A total of 35 seats on the Hollywood board are up for grabs, with the top 13 finishers also serving on the national board. In New York, six national director seats are up for grabs as well as the nine alternates. All 22 regional seats also will be contested.
The election will be all the more charged because it will be immediately followed by a resumption of contract negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. The two sides settled on a one-year contract extension in February rather than tackle the thorny issue of residuals, which could have held up the talks for months and disrupted the producers’ production schedules.
SAG leaders promised the members that they would revisit residuals when they sat down in the fall to begin early negotiations on a new, three-year contract.
Keying off that fact, Restore Respect said their slate would push for stronger and more expansive health coverage, gains in feature film and television residuals and rate gains on cable series.
“We need to be one union,” said Stephen Collins, a Hollywood board candidate and star of the TV series “7th Heaven.” “The producers see the kind of divisiveness we’ve been engaging in — this naysaying — and they must be laughing because it makes us weaker.”
Restore Respect’s Hollywood board slate includes 34 members: Chris Allport, Rene Auberjonois, Barbara Bosson, Nick Brett, Rebeccah Bush, Andrew Caple-Shaw, Gabrielle Carteris, Stephen Collins, Trista Delamere, Fred Fein, Gary Fredo, Lee Garlington, Linda Harmon, Tess Harper, Ken Howard, Luana Jackman, Tom Kane, Cliff Karp, Kevin Kilner, Ruth Livier, Dakin Matthews, Michael O’Neill, Peter Onorati, Paul Peterson, Robert Pine, Mitch Ryan, Kurtwood Smith, Matthew Solari, Jerry Sroka, Mandy Steckleberg, Loretta Swit, Marshall Teague, John West and Vivicca Whitsett.
MembershipFirst’s slate is expected to include Jolliffe and Kent McCord, though the full list was not immediately available over the weekend.
The guild has not formally certified any of the candidates pending checks on their eligibility.
Yikes. Eligibility, now that’s another story you ain’t gonna believe. Stay Tuned