MembershipFirst unveils candidates

Board possibilities include Scott Bakula, Joely Fisher

The controversial MembershipFirst faction of SAG announced Friday a slate of 33 potential candidates who will vie for openings on the national and local boards and go head-to-head with the newly formed opposition group, Unite for Strength.

Among the actors looking to fill Hollywood's 11 national board seats and 22 local seats are 11 new MembershipFirst candidates, including Scott Bakula, Keith Carradine, Charles Shaughnessy and Joely Fisher. Also on the slate are 22 incumbents to the board, including JoBeth Williams, Joe Bologna, and Lainie Kazan.

The announcement of the candidates comes a day before a crucial SAG national board meeting Saturday and two days after Unite for Strength announced its intention to contest seats held by those in MembershipFirst. Unite's 31 candidates include Amy Brenneman, Kate Walsh and Doug Savant.

MembershipFirst came to power in 2005 and currently dominates the Hollywood board, holding the majority of seats as well as backing current president Alan Rosenberg. The group is the controlling voice in the SAG contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, which is currently at a stand still.

Unite for Strength blames MembershipFirst for its hardline approach to the negotiations as well as its anti-AFTRA sentiment, which led to the unsuccessful campaign to get members to vote down the sister union's primetime/TV deal with the AMPTP.

In its announcement, MembershipFirst said its goals for the coming year include uniting "all actors under the Screen Actors Guild banner, protect actors wages and working conditions in all areas, fight for residuals in all media platforms, protect the right of every dues paying member to vote on SAG issues and to secure complete jurisdiction in new media."

Unite for Strength's main goal is to merge SAG with AFTRA, something the MembershipFirst faction has bitterly opposed in the last two attempts in 1999 and 2003.

The potential MembershipFirst national board candidates are:

Scott Bakula
Joe Bologna (incumbent)
Clancy Brown
Keith Carradine,
Joely Fisher
Lainie Kazan (incumbent)
William Russ (incumbent)
Alan Ruck
Charles Shaughnessy
JoBeth Williams (incumbent).
Joe d'Angerio (incumbent)
Jane Austin (incumbent)
Jeff Austin (incumbent)
Renee Aubrey (incumbent)
Steve Barr (incumbent)
Michael Bell (incumbent)
Warren Berlinger (incumbent)
Eugene Bogs (incumbent)
Tom Bower
Anthony Desantis (incumbent)
Ron Harper (incumbent)
David Jolliffe (incumbent)
Russell McConnell (incumbent)
Peggy Miley (incumbent)
Paul Napier (incumbent)
Peter Van Norton
France Nuyen (incumbent)
F.J. O'Neil (incumbent)
Vic Polizos
Yale Summers (incumbent)
Charles Malik Whitfield
Christopher R. Wielh
Scott Wilson (incumbent)
Current MembershipFirst sitting members of the SAG National Board of
the Hollywood Division are:
1st Vice President Kent McCord
Angel Tompkins
Bonnie Bartlett
Justine Bateman
Joanna Cassidy
Seymour Cassel
George Coe
Anne DeSalvo
Frances Fisher
Leigh French
Elliott Gould
Valerie Harper
Sumi Haru
Robert Hays
Diane Ladd
Piper Laurie
William Mapother
Esai Morales
Barbara Niven
Harrison Page
Susan Savage
Nancy Sinatra
Renee Taylor
Angela Watson
Jenny Worman