FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRAN DRESCHER TO SEEK ELECTION AS SAG-AFTRA PRESIDENT
ANTHONY RAPP WILL RUN FOR SECRETARY-TREASURER
Unite for Strength and USAN Leadership Announce
National Officer Candidates for 2021 SAG-AFTRA Election
Los Angeles and New York, (July 1, 2021) – Los Angeles-based Unite for Strength and NY-based USAN Leadership have announced national officer candidates. Veteran performer and activist Fran Drescher will seek election as SAG-AFTRA National President. Long-time star of film, television and Broadway Anthony Rapp will run for national Secretary-Treasurer. UFS and USAN are comprised of members working as actors, broadcasters, singers, recording artists, background artists, voiceover performers, stunt professionals, dancers, performance capture artists, and all other types of work covered by SAG-AFTRA.
Fran Drescher said, “I’m honored to have been asked to run. I hope to apply my experience as the president of the Cancer Schmancer Movement and my success on Capitol Hill and as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for uniting our union, increasing member benefits and giving our 160k strong membership a more significant presence on the national landscape.”
Anthony Rapp added, “I have been a proud union member since I was nine years old. My decades of work have afforded me a platform that I strive to use as a voice for the voiceless, and as a champion for acceptance, inclusion, safety, and opportunity for all. As Secretary-Treasurer, I will be a responsible steward of our union’s resources, to help ensure that all generations of our members can have a bright and protected future.”
Gabrielle Carteris shared, “I am so pleased to have served the members of SAG-AFTRA for the last five and a half years and it is with joy and humility that I pass the baton to a new team of experienced and dedicated leaders who will guide the union into the future. With Fran Dresher at the helm, I know our union and our membership are in great hands. It’s bittersweet to move on, but I do so with gratitude and great confidence in Fran and the remarkable Anthony Rapp.”
Camryn Manheim stated, “We would be so incredibly lucky to have Fran Drescher leading our union. She has seen this industry from every angle, and has the leadership experience and fortitude to get things done. She is smart, direct, fierce, and thoughtful. She has also shown remarkable resilience in the face of harrowing personal challenges, and then turned those negative experiences into empowerment and activism on the national stage. She has the knowledge, grit, and dedication to engage and make real progress. Anthony Rapp is a fierce warrior and a gentle giant. Having just served as Secretary-Treasurer through this incredibly challenging pandemic, I know that Anthony has the financial acumen and fiscal responsibility to safeguard our finances and protect our members. This stellar team will bring innovative ideas and fresh perspectives.”
Carteris and Manheim will continue their service on behalf of SAG-AFTRA members and are running for the National Board with Unite for Strength. Election ballots will be mailed to members on August 3rd and tabulated on September 2nd.
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About USAN Leadership
USAN — A TRACK RECORD OF PROVEN RESULTS
- Merged the unions
- Negotiated over 1 billion additional dollars in game-changing contracts like the 2019 Commercials contract, Netflix, and Video Games
- Secured and protected NY Tax Incentives
- Strong pensions in the green zone
- Won the BBH Strike
- Organized Telemundo — the first TV network to unionize in 65 years
- Achieved dancer and background coverage in Music Videos
- Achieved Performance Capture coverage in the Netflix deal
- Confronted sexual harassment through legislation and contract improvements, resulting in the only industry-wide 24/7 hotline and use of intimacy coordinators
- Total member earnings at an all-time high
USAN LEADERSHIP WILL:
- Continue to strengthen contracts and increase residuals
- Improve contract enforcement and fight unfair exclusivity
- Bring even more commercial producers back to our contracts
- Continue to protect our pensions
- Advocate for stunt safety, better travel, and turnaround protections
- Fight to Increase background pay and opportunities
- Organize new broadcast stations
- Champion diversity and inclusion
- Keep improving our low budget contracts & streamline the signatory process
- Push to restore performers ability to deduct commissions and safeguard against future unintentional tax increases
- Continue to keep SAG-AFTRA financially stable with surpluses building our reserves
In Memory of Mike Hodge
Last night we lost our friend and colleague—the fearless leader of our New York Local.
Mike Hodge was a powerful unionist, a remarkable leader, and more than anything a great friend, colleague and mentor. He led our local through several challenging years and into the momentous merger. He built on that powerful foundation to bring cohesion and stability to our local and helped build the industry economy on which New York members’ careers now thrive. His vision and leadership made us stronger and justifiably prouder. Alongside the pain of losing Mike, I urge us all to remember his extraordinary achievements on behalf of SAG-AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild before it.
For me, and I am sure for many of you who were his closest friends, this is particularly heartbreaking as we have lost not just a president, but a father figure and a big brother. Mike was a towering presence whose kindness and good nature made each of us better.
I have been in contact with his family and will share information on services and other details as soon as that is appropriate.
For now, please join me in wishing our dear Mike a fond farewell and a good journey.
GABRIELLE CARTERIS TO SEEK RE-ELECTION AS SAG-AFTRA PRESIDENT
JASON GEORGE WILL RUN FOR SECRETARY-TREASURER
Candidates endorsed by Unite for Strength and USAN Leadership
for 2017 SAG-AFTRA Elections
Los Angeles and New York, (July 12, 2017) – SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris will seek re-election as the union’s top national officer. Long time National Board Member and chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee Jason George will join Carteris for secretary-treasurer. UFS and USAN will also field slates of candidates vying for open positions as national and local board members and as delegates to the third SAG-AFTRA National Convention, to be held in Los Angeles in October. Election ballots will be mailed to members on July 25th and will be tabulated on August 24th
Joining Unite for Strength and USAN Leadership in endorsing Carteris and George are Octavia Spencer, Alec Baldwin, Rita Moreno, Jane Lynch, Noah Wyle, Margo Martindale, Rhea Perlman, Regina King, Michael Cudlitz, Keith David, John Cho, Phylicia Rashad, Robert Patrick, Stephen Lang and Luke Perry. Also endorsing Carteris and George are numerous elected SAG-AFTRA leaders from all 25 locals and National Officers, including Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon, National Vice President, Los Angeles Clyde Kusatsu, New York President Mike Hodge, National Vice President, Small Locals David Hartley-Margolin, National Vice President, Actors/Performers Samantha Mathis, National Vice President, Broadcasters Catherine Brown and National Vice President, Recording Artists Dan Navarro.
“It has been my great honor to serve as your president, pressing forward and leading the vital work of SAG-AFTRA, the world’s most powerful entertainment union. We must be responsive to our members’ needs, whatever the platform, whatever their work, wherever they live. Whether it’s negotiating new contracts, organizing Telemundo, standing up for a fair Interactive agreement, or keeping our ages off of IMDb, the work of SAG-AFTRA never stops,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. The star of Beverly Hills, 90210 continued, “Our employers are enjoying record breaking profits and it is vital that we earn our fair share and retain the ability to make a living. I pledge to continue devoting my time, energy and passion to fight for SAG-AFTRA members.”
Grey’s Anatomy star Jason George stated, “President Gabrielle Carteris has been a friend and colleague in the boardroom since the early days of our work to unite SAG and AFTRA. I am excited at the prospect of serving with her as Secretary-Treasurer and further strengthening SAG-AFTRA,” George elaborated, “In addition to safeguarding our union’s fiscal security, I will prepare SAG-AFTRA for our rapidly-evolving industry by focusing on enforcement and digital innovations that reduce costly mistakes and improve timely and accurate payments to our members.”
Academy, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA Awards winner Octavia Spencer remarked, “I am proud to support Gabrielle Carteris for re-election as SAG-AFTRA President. Gabrielle is a fierce, intelligent leader and a passionate advocate for all of our members,” Spencer added, “She, along with Jason George as Secretary-Treasurer and everyone from Unite For Strength and USAN, represent the kind of progressive, dynamic leadership our union needs and our members deserve.”
Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Grammy and SAG-AFTRA Life Achievement Award winner Rita Moreno said, “Gabrielle Carteris has done an extraordinary job as President of SAG-AFTRA. She and Jason George embody the strength, intelligence and compassion that are the earmarks of great leaders. They, along with Unite for Strength and USAN, have my absolute support.”
Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards winner Jane Lynch commented, “Leading SAG-AFTRA is no joke. Performers count on their union to protect their livelihoods in this volatile business. I trust Gabrielle Carteris and her team to continue fighting and delivering real victories.”
SAG Award winner Noah Wyle spoke of Carteris, “I wholeheartedly support the re-election of President Gabrielle Carteris. She has proven herself as an extraordinary leader in the midst of rapidly shifting industry challenges,” The E.R. alum further stated, “Jason George has the intelligence, judgement and union service experience to make an exceptional National Secretary-Treasurer. Leading us to merger and progressing beyond, Unite for Strength and USAN steer us to the strongest, most responsive SAG-AFTRA possible.”
Emmy winner Margo Martindale agreed, “I have always said our union will be stronger after merger. And now thanks to President Gabrielle Carteris, Jason George, NY President Mike Hodge and the USAN/UFS team we have the proof—a newly negotiated contract that is $56 million richer than the last,” The star of The Americans and Cars 3 concluded, “We made the right choice.”
Star of The Walking Dead and Southland Michael Cudlitz stated, “I am proud to support Gabrielle Carteris for SAG-AFTRA president. I’ve known Gabrielle for over 25 years and I’ve seen her fight for performers’ rights first hand. Her commitment and courage are second to none. She has an all encompassing understanding and knowledge of the contracts and issues that really matter to actors on sets. However, more than her knowledge and experience, is this: Gabrielle cares. Her only wish is to enrich and support her fellow performers and I am confident she will continue to do an excellent job.”
Emmy winner Keith David also endorsed Carteris and George, sharing, “Gabrielle Carteris has been working on behalf of us all and making SAG-AFTRA a stronger union. The result of her tenacity speaks for itself, one of many reasons to support her re-election. With people like Gabrielle, Jason George running for Secretary-Treasurer and their team running for the board, I believe this is the group we need to move forward, trusting that our best interests are being cared for.”
John Cho of Star Trek fame noted, “I’m proud to support the visionary leadership of Gabrielle Carteris and Jason George. I’ve been impressed by their dedication to the needs of our members and their understanding of the value of inclusivity and diversity. They stand on their principles and don’t hesitate to put themselves on the line.”
Image Award winner Phylicia Rashad offered “Join me in voting for Gabrielle Carteris, Mike Hodge & the entire team. They are the model of inclusion and truly represent our diverse membership across the board — their leadership, experience and vision are key to moving SAG-AFTRA forward.”
Robert Patrick of Terminator 2 and Scorpion emphasized, “As President, Gabrielle Carteris combines wisdom, grit and compassion – we’ve already reaped enormous benefits from her leadership. Jason George is a solid professional with the business savvy and union dedication to be a terrific Secretary-Treasurer. Carteris and George, along with their Unite for Strength and USAN colleagues are a winning combination – a win for all members.”
Star of Avatar Stephen Lang stated, “Join me in supporting Gabrielle Carteris, Jason George, Mike Hodge and the USAN/UFS team. They have been a force in SAG-AFTRA.”
SAG-AFTRA Broadcast Steering Committee Chair Joe Krebs reflected, “Simply put, we are extremely lucky to have her! Gabrielle Carteris is an extraordinary leader – caring, concerned, and committed to each and every SAG-AFTRA member. I’ve seen her commitment to broadcasters by her participation in our Broadcast Steering Committee meetings and including us in all important discussions. I wholeheartedly endorse Gabrielle Carteris and Jason George for President and Secretary-Treasurer.”