Fall / Winter 2021

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20 SAG-AFTRA | Fall/Winter 2021 | News, Information and Benefits Fran Drescher Elected SAG-AFTRA President Ben Whitehair Wins Election for EVP, Joely Fisher Secretary-Treasurer S AG-AFTRA members elected Fran Drescher as president and Joely Fisher as secretary-treasurer on Sept. 2. Their two-year terms began immediately upon the certification of the ballot count. A total of 122,155 ballots were mailed. Of the total number of votes, 32,362 were returned, equating to a return of 26.49%. In the election for president, Drescher received 16,958 votes, followed by Matthew Modine with 15,371 votes. For the post of secretary-treasurer, Fisher received 18,547 votes, followed by Anthony Rapp with 13,593 votes. The executive vice president, as well as the seven category and geographical vice presidents, were elected by delegates at SAG-AFTRA's biennial convention, held Oct. 15–18. Ben Whitehair was elected executive vice president; Michelle Hurd, vice president, Los Angeles; Ezra Knight, vice president, New York; Michele Proude, vice president, mid-sized locals; Suzanne Burkhead, vice president, small locals; William Charlton, vice president, actors/performers; Bob Butler, vice president, broadcasters; and Janice Pendarvis, vice president, recording artists/singers. "I am honored to serve my union in this capacity. Together we will navigate through these troubled times of global health crisis, and together we will rise up out of the melee to do what we do best, entertain and inform," said Drescher. "We must never forget the important contribution we make to many millions of people each and every day when they buy a ticket to sit in a dark theater or turn on their TVs or streaming devices." "I am so excited to be writing the next chapter of SAG-AFTRA with you," said Whitehair. "Thank you for your trust in me and for joining the fight that lies ahead. Together, we'll make our union, this industry and our entire world a better place for all." Said Fisher, "To our members, I want to thank you for your vote of confidence. I look forward to getting us back to solid financial footing and to being a part of strong negotiations moving forward." Following the convention, the board met virtually, for the first time with the newly elected board members and vice presidents, where it approved a negotiating committee and wages and working conditions process for the upcoming negotiations of the Commercials and Audio Commercials contracts. Fran Drescher Ben Whitehair Joely Fisher Remembering Halyna S AG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Ben Whitehair and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland joined SAG-AFTRA members and hundreds of industry artisans at a candlelight vigil Oct. 24 at IATSE Local 80 Burbank headquarters to pay tribute to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Hutchins was killed three days earlier by a prop gun on the New Mexico set of the film Rust. "This is a tragedy that could and should have been avoided," said Crabtree-Ireland. "Creating a culture of safety on set requires relentless vigilance from every one of us." SAG-AFTRA members also attended an Oct. 23 candlelight vigil in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in remembrance of Hutchins. If you feel unsafe on set for any reason, including harassment, call the 24-hour safety hotline on your membership card and member app: (844) SAFER SET.

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