Richard Masur has been re-elected to a second two-year term as president of the Screen Actors Guild, but the big surprise in the just-completed SAG elections was the success of a slate of officer and board candidates who had mounted what they called "an open political challenge to SAG's leadership."
Votes tallied Friday night showed that Masur had handily defeated challengers Angel Angeltompkins, a SAG board member who was making her third bid for the presidency, and Terrence Beasor, a newcomer to SAG politics, who finished a distant third in the presidential race.
Masur got 10,371 votes, or 59.3 percent of all ballots cast, while Angeltompkins got 4,996 votes, or 28.6 percent of the vote. Beasor received 2,124 votes, or 12.1 percent of the total. Meanwhile, the insurgent slate of candidates, called the Performers' Alliance, won four of the five national officer seats they were contesting, and 15 of the 19 open Hollywood board seats. In fact, members of the Performers' Alliance slate were the top eight vote-getters in the Hollywood board elections.
In the process, they turned out of office nine incumbent board members, including longtime board members Daryl Anderson, Joseph Ruskin, Yale Summers, and Nina Diamante--an almost unprecedented thinning of the incumbent ranks.
The last time that a group of challengers to the SAG status quo staged such a lopsided victory was in the mid-1980s, when a group called Actors Working for an Actors Guild virtually swept the Hollywood SAG board elections.
"This is a sweeping victory for working actors, and we consider this a changing of the guard at the Screen Actors Guild," said Patrick Pankhurst, the campaign manager for the Performers' Alliance.
The 15 board seats won by the Performers' Alliance account for one third of all the board seats in Hollywood and 14 percent of SAG's 105 national board seats.
The Performers' alliance did not support any candidate in the presidential race, but its leaders say they can, and will, work with Masur.
"The incumbent president's approach to these issues was not in line with the Alliance, and as a result, the group did not see fit to endorse Richard Masur," said one newly elected member of the Performers' Alliance slate. "But the political savvy of the group indicated that he would win easily, and it's the Alliance's intention to work with Masur in furthering the goals of the Alliance's agenda."
"I like Richard (Masur) personally and professionally," said David Jolliffe, a leader of the Alliance who was elected 11th vp. "We have a good, healthy working relationship. I think there are things we can learn from Richard, and things Richard can learn from us."
For his part, Masur saw their election victory as "a very positive development, that a group of active, working performers has gotten involved in the process and put so much energy and focus into getting each other elected."
As for his own plans for the guild, Masur said that they are "pretty much dictated by what we're facing: a very important negotiation in theatrical and television (arena), and a major meeting in January to have what I hope is the final discussion on merger (with AFTRA) prior to sending a referendum to the members."
In the SAG officer elections, Sumi Haru narrowly defeated John P. Connolly in the race for recording secretary, 8,750 votes to 8,627. Connolly, who remains a member of SAG's New York board of directors, was the only member of the Performers' Alliance to be defeated in his run for a national officer post. F. J. O'Neil, another member of the Performers' Alliance slate, was re-elected treasurer without opposition.
In the national vice president races, several candidates were elected without opposition, including Amy Aquino, first vp from Hollywood; Mel Boudrot, second vp from New York; Kim Sykes, fourth vp from New York; Mary Seibel, fifth vp from Chicago; Chuck Dorsett, sixth vp from San Francisco; Nik Hagler, eighth vp from the regional branches; and Larry Keith, 12th vp from New York.
Leaders of the Performers' Alliance slate won all three of the contested Hollywood vice presidencies:
¥In the race for third vp, Paul Napier defeated incumbent Daryl Anderson and challenger Bob Courts.
¥In the race for ninth vp, Bob Carlson defeated Carole Elliott, Lev Mailer, Jerry Velasco, and Mark Carlton.
¥In the race for 11th vp, David Jolliffe defeated Rene Aubry and DeWayne Williams.
Anne-Marie Johnson, a member of the Performers' Alliance slate, was the top vote-getter in the Hollywood board races. The other members of the slate who won Hollywood board seats were: Karen Austin, Sally Stevens, Paul Napier, Susan Boyd, Bob Carlson, David Jolliffe, Betsy Salkind, Russell McConnell, Henriette Mantel, Eddie Allen, Todd Amorde, Steven Barr, Gary Epp, and Wren T. Brown.
The highest non-Performers' Alliance vote-getter in the Hollywood board race was Amy Aquino, who finished ninth. Also elected were Sumi Haru, Mitchell Ryan, and Eugene Boggs