On Tuesday night a group labeling itself a coalition of independents announced that candidates including Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo), Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven), Dr. Drew (Celebrity Rehab), Diane Ladd (Chinatown), Jamie Ann Allman (Candy), Louis Herthum (The Peripheral), Robert Davi (Die Hard), Brent Sexton (Justified), Michelle Jubilee (1923), DaJuan Johnson (Bosch) and Veronica Bruce (Empire) would all run as for seats on the SAG-AFTRA National Board.
Further, Sons of Anarchy and 9-1-1 star Rockmond Dunbar will run for the position of Los Angeles Local vice president as well. The group will join previously announced candidates Maya Gilbert-Dunbar (the Banshee actor who is married to Rockmond), running for union president, and Peter Antico (Batwoman), aiming for secretary-treasurer.
Ballots will be counted for SAG-AFTRA’s national election, Los Angeles Local and New York Local contests — momentous ones during the union’s historic ongoing strike, whose end date is as yet unknown — on September 9.
“The business of the Union must go on and so does the election. We are facing an unprecedented work stoppage and in these troubling times evaluating whether your elected leaders checked all the boxes for two years is paramount in a representative labor union,” Gilbert-Dunbar said in a statement on Tuesday night. “The Independents I’ve spoken to and have seen will be on the ballot have the best interests of the union in their hearts and minds without party affiliation. I believe the Los Angeles membership will make informed decisions on the worthiest candidates to represent them on the SAG-AFTRA’s National Board.”
The independent slate says that more candidates, not yet announced, will run on the platform for New York and Los Angeles Local boards and as delegates to the union’s national convention.
This year the union’s previously entrenched political parties — Membership First and Unite for Strength — have joined hands to create the “Unity” slate, running sitting union president Drescher and current secretary-treasurer Joely Fisher for reelection. That slate is focused on mitigating the threat of generative artificial intelligence to SAG-AFTRA members, changing residuals formulas and regulating self-taped auditions, it has previously stated.
The independent candidates’ website stresses “we need change” on issues including pension and health, issues affecting stunt performers, singers, dancers and background actors and SVOD residuals. Said Antico in his statement on Tuesday, “All of these independent candidates are seasoned performers who understand firsthand the shortcomings of our current contracts. They are of the highest integrity, and they possess a selfless dedication to their fellow members and our shared career pursuit.”