UPDATED with more info: Gabrielle Carteris said today that she is seeking a second term as president of SAG-AFTRA.
Carteris, who as EVP of the actors union had succeeded president Ken Howard after his death last year, will be running on the Unite for Strength slate. Her running mate for secretary-treasurer will be Grey’s Anatomy star Jason George, a longtime national board member and chair of the union’s diversity advisory committee.
George said 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. 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.”
Said former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Carteris today in announcing her run to guild members: “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. 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.”
Carteris and George will face off against competition including Esai Morales and Jane Austin, who are running on the Membership First ticket for president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. Esai lost the union’s 2013 presidential election to Howard. Stuntwoman Austin scored an upset win as president of SAG-AFTRA’s Los Angeles local in 2015, squeaking by Unite for Strength incumbent Clyde Kusatsu by 105 votes.
Two other candidates have announced that they will seek the union’s presidency. Peter Antico, who is urging a ‘No’ vote on the union’s new contract, is running as an independent vowing to make the guild more democratic and transparent. Actor Robert B. Martin Jr. has also thrown his hat in the ring.
Celebs endorsing Carteris include Alec Baldwin, Octavia Spencer, Rita Moreno, Jane Lynch, Luke Perry, Phylicia Rashad, Noah Wyle, Margo Martindale, Michael Cudlitz, Keith David, John Cho, Robert Patrick, Regina King and Stephen Lang.
“I am proud to support Gabrielle Carteris for re-election as SAG-AFTRA president,” Spencer said. “Gabrielle is a fierce, intelligent leader and a passionate advocate for all of our members. She, along with Jason George as secretary-treasurer and everyone from Unite For Strength and Unite SAG-AFTRA Nationally represent the kind of progressive, dynamic leadership our union needs and our members deserve.”
Added Cho: “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.”
Election ballots will be mailed out July 25 and are due back the morning of August 24.