While the country’s presidential candidates have been arguing over lipstick and pigs in recent weeks, another polity’s election has been heating up Hollywood. Two factions within the Screen Actors Guild, Unite for Strength and Membership First, have been duking it out in hopes of taking control and steering the union’s 12-week-long stalemate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to a deal. On Sept. 18, the newly-formed, and more moderate, Unite for Strength prevailed, with Amy Brenneman (Private Practice), Adam Arkin (Life), and Kate Walsh (Private Practice, pictured) elected to the board, which could (depending on how other regional members vote) put Membership First in the minority for the first time in three years.
What will this mean for the union’s contract negotiations? A press release cicrulated on Wednesday stated that 87 percent of SAG members who responded to a recent poll would prefer to hold out for a better contract than the one AFTRA signed rather than accept the AMPTP’s present terms. But out of the 103,630 SAG members who were polled via a postcard mailing, only 10,298 responded. The low turnout and change-up in the board could mean the pressure is building for SAG to come to an agreement with the AMPTP sooner rather than later — or at the very least, get back to the table for serious talks.