EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hanks has endorsed Fran Drescher for president of SAG-AFTRA. He’s also backing her running mate, Anthony Rapp, and “their entire team” of candidates running on the ruling parties’ Unite for Strength and USAN slates.
“The future of SAG-AFTRA is streaming,” Hanks is quoted as saying on the front of a USAN voter guide sent to the union’s members. “Members deserve stronger contracts, more residuals, better protections and ending unfair exclusivity. I’m supporting USAN Leadership, Fran, Anthony and their entire team. Your vote matters.”
Dresher, who is seeking to succeed Gabrielle Carteris as president of the 160,000-member union, is running against Matthew Modine. He and his running mate, Joely Fisher, head up the opposition party’s MembershipFirst slate.
Other A-list endorsers featured on the voter guide include Alec Baldwin, Debra Messing, J.K. Simmons, Rosario Dawson and Tichina Arnold.
“In this new world where streaming is transforming our work and our compensation, we need trailblazing leaders willing to fight for us,” Baldwin says. Fran and Anthony and the exceptional USAN team are up to the challenge.”
See Baldwin’s campaign video here:
“I’m thrilled to endorse Fran Dresher and Anthony Rapp, along with the entire USAN team,” Messing says. I have long admired Fran for her tireless activism and powerful voice on women’s health, the LGBT community, and all underrepresented communities. SAG-AFTRA members would be lucky to have someone as thoughtful, dedicated, and brilliant as Anthony Rapp for secretary-treasurer. This diverse group of leaders will protect our members through strong contracts and innovative solutions. I’m excited to lend my support to this amazing team.”
Simmons said that “Positive solutions and creative alliances, rather than anger and divisiveness. Those hallmarks of USAN have enabled us to get back to work sooner and safer. Fran Dresher along with Anthony Rapp will build on our progress by powerfully uniting us all under one banner of SAG-AFTRA. An innovative team for a challenging time.”
“These are special leaders for special times,” Dawson says. “Fran Drescher is a proven groundbreaker and consensus builder and Anthony Rapp brings a lifetime of work and advocacy to the table. Combined with the exceptional candidates of USAN, this is the team we need to move us into the future.”
Arnold said: “With the industry savvy, legislative success and chutzpah of Fran and the experience and activism of Anthony, the USAN team brings a thrilling energy of diversity to the future of SAG-AFTRA.”
Drescher and her USF/USAN team have also been endorsed by Carteris and former SAG presidents Melissa Gilbert, Richard Masur and Barry Gordon.
Other endorsers include:
Dan Aykroyd: “Every one of us in the membership would benefit greatly from Fran’s wisdom, intelligence, integrity, work and personal ethics and appetite for commitment. I have personally known Fran Drescher for almost 40 years. She remains level, clear sighted and she comprehends people’s wants, needs and fair labor requirements. In my view Fran Drescher would make an excellent Union President.”
Morgan Fairchild: “Having served on the Board for over a decade, I understand the dedication and clarity required to be effective. Fran Drescher has proven she can deliver the goods, even in contentious Capitol Hill; Anthony Rapp profoundly understands our work from his years of experience. USAN/UFS is the team to lead with integrity.”
Adam Arkin: “Having served in the SAG-AFTRA board room, I know that it takes vision, strategy, and fortitude to achieve the greatest gains for our members. Fran, Anthony, and their fellow UFS/USAN leaders have exactly that.”
Jonathan Frakes: “Over the years that I’ve known Anthony, he’s proven himself to be a person of courage and integrity, with an unshakable work ethic and a deep commitment to advancing the causes of fairness, safety, and justice for all. I’m confident in his ability to bring his thoughtfulness, creativity, and passion for activism to the duties of Secretary-Treasurer. I heartily endorse him, the fierce and fabulous Fran Drescher for President, and the entire Unite for Strength/USAN slate, trusting them to do the important and necessary work to bring SAG-AFTRA forward in this incredibly transformational time.”
Other notable endorsers include Ed Begley Jr., Loretta Swit, Linda Howard, Titus Welliver, Kate Flannery, D.W. Moffett, Kathy Najimy, John Carroll Lynch, Gary Burghoff, Heather Hart-Sussman, Donna Pescow, Jonathan Penner, Willie Garson, James Eckhouse, Jonathan Del Arco, Marisol Nichols, Michael O’Keefe, Stephen Weber, Roz Kern, Michael O’Neill, David Ajala, Blu del Barrio, Todd Stashwick, Nehemiah Persoff, Patrick Fabian and Hal Eisner.
Ballots were mailed to members on Tuesday and will be tabulated September 2.