Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Hollywood Political Apathy: After Bruising Campaign Only 21% of SAG-AFTRA Members Bother to Vote in Election


Gabrielle Carteris vs. Matthew Modine. A heavyweight fight. The winner is…Carteris.

The campaign for president of SAG-AFTRA is over. It was bruising, with both sides slinging mud and accusations. It came to a fever pitch in the last week. You’d think all the actors who belong to the union would have been out in the streets.

Not exactly.

According to the union, 145,700 eligible voters were mailed ballots on July 29th. Did they all vote? Did half of them vote? No. No.

All together, 21.17% of the total voted, just 30,000 members. Carteris received 13,537 votes, followed by Matthew Modine with 10,682 votes, Jane Austin with 5,048 votes, Queen Alljahye Searles with 1,096 votes and Abraham Justice with 367 votes.

That’s it. So much effort, all the crying and screaming, Twitter and Facebook wars. And that’s what happened.

I do feel Modine and his Membership First team had won. They raised a lot of questions about what’s going on in the union. But Carteris and her United for Strength group has been in power for a while, and was better organized. I’m surprised about Carteris because she’s listed as an Executive Producer of the “Beverly Hills 90210” reboot show, which would have disqualified her.

Elsewhere in SAG, Patricia Richardson was elected president of the Los Angeles Local and Rebecca Damon was re-elected president of the New York Local. That should be interesting, as Richardson is with Membership First, and will be in charge of the union’s largest local chapter.

Modine said in a statement: “I am proud of our campaign for transparency and the goal of uniting all 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA. It has been an honor to stand with you. I congratulate all of our MembershipFirst candidates on winning important victories tonight. Each will be instrumental in forming a more perfect union. It appears there has already been a challenge from outside of the political groups with allegations of impropriety and possible Federal election law violations. Therefore, as a matter of principal it is important to withhold judgment until it is determined that the election was held fairly and in compliance with the labor code. If it is determined that the election was run within the election law and union guidelines, I will fully support whomever has been fairly elected.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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