Former SAG President Ed Asner has renounced claims he and a group of actors made earlier this year accusing SAG-AFTRA’s leaders of a long list of financial misdeeds. The accusations, which an independent investigation since has found to be without merit, were contained in a 10-page letter Asner signed in April – shortly before the union began negotiations for a new film and TV contract.
“I signed on to this letter, not knowing it would go public, to right what I was led to believe was wrong,” Asner said in a letter of apology issued today. “The union replied to these charges on June 25, and I have since apologized for the publicity surrounding this letter at the time of our very important negotiations, and I would like to express my surprise that after being responded to by the union, that the charges from the letter are being issued again. I withdraw my name from that repeated issuance of the letter. I have full confidence in our chief negotiator David White, and our executives Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and John McGuire, as I’m sure they will do a fine job in conducting those negotiations and making progress for our union.”
Asner’s original letter accused White, Crabtree-Ireland and McGuire of a broad range of financial misdeeds including misuse of reimbursed expenses. An independent investigation of the allegations conducted by the accounting firm Bond Beebe that found that there was no evidence to support any of the allegations.