UPDATES WGA/SAG Start Process of Announcing Officer Campaign Slates

As I told you, the SAG slates are finally shaping up for September’s election. While Ken Howard declared Friday his candidacy on behalf of Unite For Strength for SAG President, today Anne-Marie Johnson declared her candidacy for SAG President on behalf of Membership First. Seymour Cassell is foolishly trying to play the spoiler as an Independent but few are taking his candidacy seriously. (He’s the numbskull who falsely told the trades that Doug Allen had been fired when he wasn’t — yet.) Not when so many vital issues will be decided.

Anne-Marie Johnson’s statement read:

“It is indeed a great honor to be asked to run for president of the Screen Actors Guild. I’ve been serving this union as a national board member for 12 years and its 1st vp for three. I’ve dedicated thousands of hours working hard to improve the wages and working conditions for all SAG members and to ensure that our members needs are met. The Screen Actors Guild is a wonderful talent union and I’ve been proud to be a member for over 2 decades. The next few years will be extremely challenging. Tough decision will have to be made. My ultimate goal is to help lead this union in the right direction to ensure that the Screen Actors Guild remains the premiere talent union for all actors and that the well being of our current and future members are always considered first.”

Ken Howard’s statement read:

“This election offers members a stark choice between two leadership approaches – attempt to go it alone or unite for strength.  From 2005 through 2008, SAG experienced the divisive, go-it-alone approach of Membership First.  They went to war with AFTRA, sought to marginalize New York and the branches, and repeatedly alienated other entertainment unions. Under Membership First’s leadership, SAG failed to successfully negotiate a single contract in 2008, which cost our members tens of millions of dollars. To make matters worse, it caused producers to take most new television production to AFTRA, resulting in still more lost work and benefits for SAG members. With increasing consolidation of media companies and new technologies transforming our business, we will pay dearly if we’re not smart and strategic about our future.  I’m running for president as a Unite for Strength candidate because I believe the only way actors will get our fair share of the pie is if we’re united both internally and with our labor partners.  If SAG members elect me and my fellow Unite for Strength candidates, we’ll make a clean break with the divisive leadership approach of Membership First and focus on building maximum unity with AFTRA and other entertainment guilds to give us real power when we sit down to negotiate contracts.”

Later tonight, I’ll have a whole WGA and SAG election package.