Matthew Modine | The Politics of Fear

SAG-AFTRA Presidential Candidate Matthew Modine addresses the issues and Carteris' refusal to answer reasonable questions.

 

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Comedy and industry politics mixed Tuesday night at The Hollywood Improv, site of a fundraiser for SAG-AFTRA candidate Matthew Modine and his Membership First slate.

“He looks like Hal Holbrook,” Tom Arnold joked. “He’s aged 100 years.”

Modine is challenging incumbent SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and three other candidates for the top elected post at the 160,000-member performers union. With two more weeks of campaigning before voting concludes on Aug. 28, the funds raised are earmarked for mailings to members.

Modine noted he’s been so busy that he’s lacked the time to see a dentist about a missing tooth. “Running for office isn’t what I expected,” he said before taking the stage.

Lisa Ann Walter hosted with comedy provided by Arnold, Rick Overton, Cathy Ladman, Julie Goldman, Vinny Fasline, Candice Thompson, and Steve Byrne.

Overton, who’s also running for a convention delegate spot, offered, “I’m candidate number 414. That’s the area code where all the work has gone.”

Ladman observed that she’s 63 and raising a 16-year-old. “I’m in the PTAARP,” she joked. My daughter is at the top of her class in eye-rolling.”

Byrne mentioned that President Donald Trump reminded him of an impatient waiter at the Cheesecake Factory: “Russian dressing? Never heard of it.”

Arnold recounted that he had been raised in a union household in which he and his father worked at a meatpacking plant, which taught him the importance of unions.

“You’ve got to stand up for yourself,” he said. “They want to pick us apart.”

Modine concluded the event with a four-minute address that noted the Membership First motto of “Artists United” was a tribute to the original United Artists studio formed in 1920 by Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. That helped lead to the formation of the original Screen Actors Guild in 1933.

“We stand on their shoulders,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to have an amazing career. It’s time for me to give back to the next generation”

He warned that the road will be rocky for performers to take on corporations, adding, “We’re fighting samurai swords with butter knives. I love a good David and Goliath story.”


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SAG-AFTRA presidential candidate Matthew Modine is taking on what he calls the “repugnant” disparity in pensions between the union’s members and its staff. “I’ve been asked by hundreds of SAG-AFTRA members if I could explain the pension discrepancy that exists between our union members and the SAG-AFTRA staff that we employ,” he told Deadline on Thursday. “It’s quite complicated, so I had an animated video made to illustrate the absurdity and inequity.”

“Did you know that SAG-AFTRA staff can retire at 55 years of age with full benefits?” he asks in the video, titled Who’s Running This Union?

“But that’s not the case for SAG-AFTRA members. For example, let’s say SAG-AFTRA staff wants to retire at 55 years of age with a pension of $50,000. If a SAG-AFTRA member wanted to retire with a pension of $50,000, they’d need to retire a full 10 years later, at 65. And even though SAG and AFTRA have merged into one union, did you know their pensions have not?

“For example, if a member of our union wanted to retire at 55 years old along with their SAG-AFTRA staff friend, members with the SAG pension would take a 30% cut, and members of the AFTRA pension would take a whopping 60% cut. Not only that, but the pension cap for staff is over double the SAG-AFTRA members’. So if they each hit their cap and wanted to retire at 55, the member with the SAG pension would make a third of the staffer member ($67,000), and the AFTRA pension less than one-quarter of the staff member ($43,000). Enough is enough.”

“SAG-AFTRA is a member-run union,” Modine told Deadline. “When leadership advantages any faction, group, individual or staff member, it is the responsibility of the members to take actions to remove and replace those responsible for disadvantaging others. My opponents, Unite for Strength and Gabriel Carteris, supported this pension discrepancy. Membership First and I do not support it. It is repugnant to allow certain, chosen people in our same pension plan to receive greater benefits than others. It’s antithetical to what UNION represents and why they’re vital symbols of fairness and equality.”


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Veteran actress Piper Perabo is running as an independent candidate for a SAG-AFTRAnational board seat representing New York members, Variety has learned.

She’s supporting Matthew Modine for president, who is challenging incumbent Gabrielle Carteris through the Membership First slate.

Perabo is best known for ABC’s “Notorious” and her role as CIA Agent Annie Walker on the USA Network’s spy drama “Covert Affairs,” for which she received a best actress Golden Globe nomination. Her recent projects include Netflix’s “Turn Up Charlie” and she will appear in Lionsgate’s “Angel Has Fallen” with Gerard Butler.

“People used to live on their residuals,” Perabo said. “Content is being shown in more places and more times than ever before, and we shouldn’t be excluded from the revenue we help create. Media is changing quickly, we need to negotiate our next round of contracts to make sure our members are paid for their amazing work, and for how many times it is played. And those negations need to be strong, and more transparent.”


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Ed AsnerElliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate.

Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others for his work on “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots.” Gould is a former board member who was nominated for an Oscar for “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” and is best known for his work on Robert Altman’s “M*A*S*H” and “The Long Goodbye.” Taylor Thomas is known for his roles on “Home Improvement” and voicing young Simba in 1994’s “The Lion King.”

Current board members Frances Fisher, Diane Ladd and Patricia Richardson are seeking re-election as Membership First reps. Jennifer Beals, Neve Campbell and Rob Schneider are also part of the slate, Variety first reported. Richardson is also seeking the presidency of the Los Angeles local.

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on Aug. 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers. Turnout is usually between 20% and 30%.


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Rob Schneider is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate and as a representative of the union’s San Francisco branch.

Schneider is a former cast member on “Saturday Night Live” with movie credits on “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick,” “The Benchwarmers,” and “Grown Ups” along with the two-season Netflix series “Real Rob.” It’s the first time he has run for a SAG-AFTRA post. Voting for the seat, currently held by Kathryn Howell, will be limited to members of the San Francisco branch.

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on August 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers. Schneider made the announcement Thursday in a campaign post on the Membership First site.

“I’ve been a SAG member for 30 years,” he said. “In that time, I’ve witnessed changes in our industry from bad cable deals to disastrous DVD deals and I’ve seen the income of my fellow actors decline precipitously. Sadly, our profession has turned into a hobby for most actors. All of this happening while there has been an explosion of new media and billions of dollars have been made. None of this work can be made without SAG members. We need better representation to demand our fair share. Our Health and Pension and the future of our union demands that we take action.”

Modine is challenging the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris, who is running as the head of the Unite for Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide tickets, which have been the ruling factions at the union for the past decade with an emphasis on pragmatic policies.


Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate.

She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide have been the ruling factions at the union for the past decade with an emphasis on pragmatic policies.

“It’s my time to step up to the fight,” Long said. “A fight for a change in leadership and our right to make a decent living.”

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on August 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers.

Mondine said, “Jodi will bring truth and transparency where there is now vagary and opacity.”


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The SAG-AFTRA local in Atlanta is offering its members an election do-over: If they’ve already cast their ballots for board candidates, they can vote again for different candidates.

The unusual move comes after the local’s ruling faction, Union Strong Atlanta (USA), received an unfair and potentially illegal advantage from a local talent agency and from an acting workshop, which had posted campaign materials and promoted the Union Strong slate on their Facebook pages.

Prior to ballots being mailed last month, SAG-AFTRA’s national election committee informed employers and agents that “federal law prohibits any employer, including employers who are agents, managers, casting directors or producers, from contributing anything of value to candidates for any SAG-AFTRA elected office. If there is a Department of Labor investigation, the DOL may seek to take statements from candidates and any employers who contributed to them. Further, any such contributions may also result in that candidate’s election being overturned.”


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The SAG-AFTRA presidential election has heated up with a pointed attack by six women on president Gabrielle Carteris and her handling of the guild’s response to the growing awareness of sexual harassment in the industry.

Allies of Matthew Modine, who has mounted an active challenge to Carteris, issued a detailed recap of her actions since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October, 2017. Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Caitlin Dulany, Pamela Guest, Sarah Ann Masse, and Sarah Scott each assailed Carteris in a campaign message released Wednesday by Modine’s Membership First faction.


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He's known for his work on The Lion King and Home Improvement.

Child star, Jonathan Taylor Thomas is all grown up and is ready to add another year with SAG AFTRA to his resume.

The 37-year-old star is running for a spot on the SAG-AFTRA national board.

Other stars such as Ed Asner and Elliott Gould are also running for members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine's Membership Slate.

Matthew and Jane Austin are both gunning for Gabrielle Carteris' seat, who is the current president.

Thomas' campaign ticket comes after a Hollywood hiatus. The star hasn't been in anything major since his Home Improvement days.  He appeared on Veronica Mars in 2005 and a couple episodes of Last Man Standing in 2015.


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Jonathan Taylor Thomas has stayed out of the public eye for most of his adult life, but now he’s finally getting involved in Hollywood again!

The 37-year-old former actor is currently seeking a seat on the SAG-AFTRA national board.

Jonathan, along with actors Ed Asnerand Elliott Gould, are running as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine‘s Membership First slate.

Matthew and Jane Austin are both running for current president Gabrielle Carteris‘ seat.

Other than a guest role on Tim Allen‘s Last Man Standing a few years ago, Jonathan hasn’t appeared in a mainstream project since his guest role on Veronica Mars in 2005. He is best known for his work on the series Home Improvement and for voicing Young Simba in the original The Lion King movie.


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Jennifer Beals is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate.

Beals is best known for starring as Bette Porter on the Showtime series “The L Word” and for her lead role as Alex Owens in the 1983 hit “Flashdance.” She’s starred in the series “The Chicago Code,” “Proof” and “Taken.” Her film credits include “Devil in a Blue Dress,” “The Grudge 2” and “The Book of Eli.”

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on August 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers. Turnout is usually between 20% and 30%.

Beals stressed concerns about safety in her candidacy statement, released Friday.

“I’ve been privileged to work in this profession for over 40 years,” said said. “During that time I’ve witnessed the decline of securities provided by our union. I took for granted safety on sets, health and pension, residuals, twelve-hour turnarounds. Witnessing them now being whittled away has made me take notice not only out of concern for our present well-being but for the well-being of generations of members to come.”


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Actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for the office SAG-AFTRA national secretary-treasurer on the Membership First slate headed by presidential candidate Matthew Modine.

Long, a member of the guild’s national board, will be squaring off in the upcoming election against Camryn Manheim, who’s running on President Gabrielle Carteris’ Unite for Strength slate, and independent candidate Chuck Slavin. The union’s top elected financial post is currently held by Jane Austin, who’s running for president as an independent.

“Game-changing technology in our industry requires foresight,” Long said in her first campaign statement. “Matthew Modine and our Membership First slate possess the vision and the fortitude to excel. Whether it’s the tough job of negotiating new contracts, implementing innovative solutions within an ever-changing landscape, or ensuring membership — and the next generation — enjoy the very same benefits our former union brethren had the foresight to set in place. That’s why I’m running for secretary treasurer. With a lifetime of experience working our contracts, four years as a SAG-AFTRA National Board Member and proudly serving numerous committees including the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee, it’s my time to step up to the fight. A fight for a change in leadership and our right to make a decent living.”


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Veteran actor Matthew Modine is running for president of SAG-AFTRA as the head of the ticket for the  Membership First faction of the performers union.

Modine was first elected as a member of the SAG-AFTRA national board in 2017. He’s the first candidate to announce for the presidency. Current president Gabrielle Carteris, who won a two-year term in the 2017 election, has not yet announced whether she will seek re-election.


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Membership First, the “loyal opposition” at SAG-AFTRA, has unveiled its slate of candidates in the upcoming elections. Patricia Richardson is running for president of the guild’s Los Angeles local, and Frances Fisher and David Jolliffe are vying for two local vice president slots. As previously reported, Matthew Modine heads the slate in his bid to unseat Gabrielle Carteris as president of SAG-AFTRA, and Jodi Long is running for national secretary-treasurer.

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Richardson, who is the LA local’s first vp, was defeated by incumbent Ken Howard four years ago in the race for president of the 160,000-member union — “We have the largest local, half the union’s members,” Richardson said in her campaign statement. “Our building, doubling as national headquarters and our home, now a construction site rented at $6,000,000 a year, is inadequate for our needs. We still have to rent other spaces for any large meetings. Thanks to Membership First, LA holds the only board meetings open to members. We fight for transparency in all matters. Come to meetings! We need your energy, involvement, knowledge, experience and support. Keep your union honest! Make your representatives accountable! Apathy is breaking us. Vote Modine/Long/Membership First.”


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After a long hiatus from Hollywood, former child sensation Jonathan Taylor Thomas has re-entered the spotlight.

The actor, now 37, known for voicing Young Simba in "The Lion King" in 1994, to his breakout television performance as Randy Taylor on "Home Improvement" for seven years, has backed away from the public eye in recent times, but has just thrown his hat in the ring for a position on the SAG-AFTRA national board.

The SAG-AFTRA, a labor union that represents nearly 160,000 workers from the entertainment industry, was formed following the merger of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Thomas, along with fellow stars Ed Asner and Elliott Gould, are seeking potential board seats as part of actor Matthew Modine's presidential campaign at the union.


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She is adding to the MembershipFirst ticket headed by Matthew Modine for president.

Actor and SAG-AFTRA national executive committee member Jodi Long announced Tuesday night that she is running for the union’s secretary-treasurer office on the MembershipFirst ticket headed by Matthew Modine for president.

In addition to serving since 2016 on the 24-member national executive committee (a subgroup of the 80-member national board), Long has served in recent years on the union’s women's committee (2009-16), ethnic employment opportunity committee (2010-pres.) and TV/theatrical negotiations committee (2017-pres.), among others.

"Game-changing technology in our industry requires foresight," said Long, a veteran of stage, film and television. "Matthew Modine and our MembershipFirst slate possess the vision and the fortitude to excel. Whether it’s the tough job of negotiating new contracts, implementing innovative solutions within an ever-changing landscape, or ensuring membership — and the next generation — enjoy the very same benefits our former union brethren had the foresight to set in place."


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His announcement sets the stage for a hard fight, likely against incumbent Gabrielle Carteris.

Matthew Modine on Monday announced his candidacy for SAG-AFTRA president, setting the stage for a pitched battle at the performers’ union as the above-the-line guilds begin preparing for triennial negotiations with the studios and producers, and at a time when entertainment labor is already in turmoil due to the WGA’s battle with talent agents.


 
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EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Modine has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate for president of SAG-AFTRA. Modine, a member of the union’s local and national boards of directors, is running at the top of the Membership First ticket, the self-styled progressive wing of the union that promises more democracy and transparency — which the union’s loyal opposition says is in short supply. He seeks to unseat Gabrielle Carteris, who’s been president of the union since 2016.


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Veteran actor Matthew Modine is running for president.

No, not that president, but president of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists).

Modine ("Full Metal Jacket," "Stranger Things," "And The Band Played On") will appear at "Bayou Fundraiser" from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at Seven Three Distilling Company, 301 N. Claiborne Ave., New Orleans.

The event, sponsored by NOLA Slate for Change Committee, will offer special guests, libations and food.

Admission for Union members is $25, general admission $50, payable at the door or in advance at ModineBayouFR.com. Modine also invites any out-of-town actors working in New Orleans to be his personal guests for the fundraiser.

The American labor union SAG-AFTRA has about 160,000 members worldwide who are film and television actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors and other media professionals. 


New York Film Academy (NYFA) Board Member Matthew Modine Runs for SAG-AFTRA President

Actor, activist, filmmaker, and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Board Member Matthew Modine is running for president of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), one of Hollywood’s most prominent labor unions.  

Modine has starred in such films as Full Metal JacketBirdyMarried to the MobThe Dark Knight RisesSicario: Day of the SoldadoShort Cuts, as well as the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things. He has been nominated for both a Primetime Emmy and multiple Golden Globes.