SAG interim director addresses members

David White, who succeeds Doug Allen, was general counsel

SAG's new interim national executive director, David White, e-mailed a letter to members and posted it on the guild's Web site early Tuesday afternoon.

White is a former general counsel of the guild who was chosen to replace national executive director Doug Allen on Monday. In his message he referenced the 1937 struggle to create the guild to stress the importance of unity in advancing its goals.

"The greatest challenge facing this union is to find a way for democratic leadership to flourish – for disagreement and debate to build into unity and power," White wrote in the letter, posted around 1 p.m. PT. "The Guild's diversity of opinion should, and must, serve as a source of strength and solidarity."

"My intention now, as Interim National Executive Director," White went on, "will be to work with your current National Board to navigate through a period that is brimming with both challenges and opportunities -- from completing our TV/Theatrical negotiations; to preparing for and securing a new Commercials contract as well as several other smaller but critically important labor agreements; to repairing relations with our sister unions; and addressing a polarized political system that is perceived by too many of our members as being close to broken. As we confront these efforts together, my overarching goal is this: to help restore your confidence that this is a union where strong and wise decisions are made despite political differences."

"I did not seek this position, but I am honored to act as its temporary custodian," White said. "You have my pledge that I will direct all my energies to steadying this historic organization and ensuring its success."