UPDATE with corrected information (see below): Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Dillon, Mia Farrow, Liam Neeson, Diane Keaton, Mark Hamill, Nick Nolte and George Takei are among a lineup of SAG-AFTRA members who have supported Matthew Modine for union president, and Joely Fisher, his running mate, for secretary-treasurer.
âI am very happy to say that I will be voting for Matt Modine,â Goldberg said in a recent campaign statement video (watch it here). âI’ve known him forever and feel like he can bring us back to a union that represents all of us – the oldest of us and the newest of us. I am very grateful that someone is willing to come in and rectify what is on the minds of many of us.
Tom Hanks supports Fran Drescher for the post of President of SAG-AFTRA
Takei said: âSAG-AFTRA needs a change. I have been a contributing member of SAG since 1959 and I am outraged by the current weak leadership of SAG-AFTRA. The SAG-AFTRA health plan, amid the biggest public health emergency in a century, changed eligibility conditions that forced up to 12,000 out of the plan – including 8,200 senior artists, saying Members 65 and older can no longer use residual income to qualify for insurance coverage. I am one of them. Members need help. We need strong leadership. That’s why I’m voting Mathew Modine for President, Joely Fisher for Secretary-Treasurer and Jodi Long for President of the LA Local.
Other Modine A-list sponsors include Vincent D’Onofrio, Winona Ryder, Nancy Sinatra, Debra Winger, Meg Ryan, Patricia Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Shirley Jones, Ed Harris, Jennifer Beals, Sandra Bernhard, Dyan Cannon, Margaret Cho , Neve Campbell, Linda Carter, Louis Gossett Jr., Shirley Jones, Bill Pullman, Rosie Perez, Elizabeth Perkins, Sally Struthers, David Alan Grier, George Stephanopoulos and Cindy Williams.
Modine and Fisher, at the top of the opposition MembershipFirst list, face off against Fran Drescher and Anthony Rapp at the top of the Unite for Strength and USAN list. The ballots were mailed to members on Tuesday and will be compiled on September 2.
âIf you are an artist and a member of SAG-AFTRA, you must support this movement,â D’Onofrio said in his statement. âMembershipFirst will reshape our union back to what we were meant to be. For people, artists. Support that and elect all of these wonderful brothers and sisters. Vote MembershipFirst.
âOur union has been going in the wrong direction for many years now,â Hamill said. âMembers have seen our positions weaken, especially in healthcare and residues. Contact negotiations have failed us in many ways. From the divestiture of our long-standing travel and whereabouts provisions and protections, to the divestiture of 90% of our syndication residues. MembershipFirst applicants have recognized these issues and are committed to doing better. They have my full support.
Shirley Jones said: âHaving been a union member for over seven decades, I was amazed to learn that I had lost my secondary health care, which I was guaranteed to have for the rest. of my life. Under the solid leadership of Matthew Modine and Joely Fisher, and the entire MembershipFirst team, I am sure such parodies will never happen. “
âI’m a member of a union and I want someone who represents actors and not studios,â Arquette said. “Matthew Modine and Joely Fisher represent actors and will bring back what the Union was meant to be, to protect the actors.”
Beals, speaking to union members, wrote: âWhen you vote, think about who is going to FIGHT for you, who is going to bring transparency to the table. I vote for Modine â¢ Fisher and for that fierce and brilliant woman, Sharon Stone. #MembershipFirst. Stone is running for a seat on the union’s national council.
Struthers called for ânew leadershipâ and âa change of people around the table. The key word in this last sentence is “CHANGE”. Do I have to say more? “
See the many other MembershipFirst sponsors below.
In one new campaign videoModine says union members “are fed up because they are fed up with bad contract negotiations.” Our members know that current management has compromised their financial security. Our members are disgusted by the treatment of our longest-serving members and why our union would push members who have paid into the health plan during their careers out of their own health plan. The members are furious because they know their residues are at risk. Performers have not seen an increase in the cost of living since 1982. Every member of our union has lost a lot over the past decade because of the so-called leadership of this administration.
The video also features comments from candidate secretary-treasurer Fisher; LA local presidential candidate Long; and LA local vice-presidential and national council candidates David Jolliffe and Sheryl Lee Ralph, who have all lambasted the union’s current leadership while vowing to protect the safety and economic well-being of members. The video is moderated by National Council candidate Anne-Marie Johnson.
A MembershipFirst campaign flyer sent to members today outlines the main issues they say they will address.
The current national leadership and administrators acted in bad faith, resulting in the loss of more than 11,750 participants (along with their dependents) from their SAG-AFTRA health coverage. We will appoint trustees who will honestly share the state of the pension and health plans with our bargaining committees and members so they know what to fight against to secure the funding needed to ensure stability.
DIVERSITY AND DISABILITY:
Our union has not yet really focused its forces on applying the Non-Discrimination Policy and Diversity sections of our contracts to support under-represented members. What we see on screen should realistically represent the diversity of the âAmerican sceneâ that we see in life. We are committed to examining all layers and nuances and creating a fair and equitable workplace for all of our diverse and disabled members and the creative community at large.
Prior to the pandemic, our Los Angeles local was in the process of offering self-registration, but due to deletion by the current national leadership, we were not allowed to provide support to our members. Under the new National MembershipFirst leadership, we will establish industry guidelines to protect our members from disrespectful and unreasonable self-registration requirements and resume and expand our local self-registration services to spare our members another cost imposed by casting and production.
OUR OWN FREE CASTING PLATFORM:
We will build our own free, state-of-the-art online casting platform for our members to replace for-profit external platforms such as Actors Access, Casting Networks and Casting Frontier, enabling our members to ‘save millions of dollars a year.
Our union has failed to make significant improvements to the contextual sections of all of our contracts. Our members are demanding higher ceilings on employment opportunities, better wages, expanded geographic coverage and a guaranteed voice in the National Council. We will continue our fight to improve the professional life of all background artists.
Our union continues to have an inadequate response in our internal contracts and policies to combat this continuing threat. We need to codify rules that will give all members the ability to report privately, hold their predators accountable for the real consequences, heal their trauma, and provide them with education, resources and support.
NEGOTIATIONS AND RESIDUES:
We have lost hundreds of millions of dollars because our contracts never kept up with the evolution of exhibition platforms. Our residues are an essential part of our ability to maintain a stable income while preserving our legitimate continued participation in the content we help create. They are constantly traded in every short-sighted contract negotiation. We need to eliminate the practice of prepaying residues (buybacks) regardless of the platform.
For years, $ 6 million per year has been spent renting our SAG-AFTRA offices in Los Angeles. In February 2021, the current National Council inexplicably locked us into a new multi-million dollar long-term lease until 2032. We will take the prudent step of acquiring real estate assets, in line with all other entertainment syndicates, by demonstrating good judgment and financial management. Planning.
Here is a list of other celebrities who support Modine:
Lesley Anne Brandt
Millie Bobby Brown
Clifton Collins, Jr.
William Daniels, former president of SAG
Anne De Salvo
Tricia Leigh Fisher
Mary lynn rajskub
Laura San Giacomo
Anna Deavere Smith
Jay smith cameron
Editor’s Note: The post has been updated to reflect that Matt Dillon, not Matt Damon, endorses Matthew Modine for President of SAG-AFTRA. We regret the error.