EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hanks has endorsed Fran Drescher for president of SAG-AFTRA. He’s also backing her running mate, Anthony Rapp, and “their entire team” of candidates running on the ruling parties’ Unite for Strength and USAN slates.
“The future of SAG-AFTRA is streaming,” Hanks is quoted as saying on the front of a USAN voter guide sent to the union’s members. “Members deserve stronger contracts, more residuals, better protections and ending unfair exclusivity. I’m supporting USAN Leadership, Fran, Anthony and their entire team. Your vote matters.”
Dresher, who is seeking to succeed Gabrielle Carteris as president of the 160,000-member union, is running against Matthew Modine. He and his running mate, Joely Fisher, head up the opposition party’s MembershipFirst slate.
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Other A-list endorsers featured on the voter guide include Alec Baldwin, Debra Messing, J.K. Simmons, Rosario Dawson and Tichina Arnold.
“In this new world where streaming is transforming our work and our compensation, we need trailblazing leaders willing to fight for us,” Baldwin says. Fran and Anthony and the exceptional USAN team are up to the challenge.”
“I’m thrilled to endorse Fran Dresher and Anthony Rapp, along with the entire USAN team,” Messing says. I have long admired Fran for her tireless activism and powerful voice on women’s health, the LGBT community, and all underrepresented communities. SAG-AFTRA members would be lucky to have someone as thoughtful, dedicated, and brilliant as Anthony Rapp for secretary-treasurer. This diverse group of leaders will protect our members through strong contracts and innovative solutions. I’m excited to lend my support to this amazing team.”
Simmons said that “Positive solutions and creative alliances, rather than anger and divisiveness. Those hallmarks of USAN have enabled us to get back to work sooner and safer. Fran Dresher along with Anthony Rapp will build on our progress by powerfully uniting us all under one banner of SAG-AFTRA. An innovative team for a challenging time.”
“These are special leaders for special times,” Dawson says. “Fran Drescher is a proven groundbreaker and consensus builder and Anthony Rapp brings a lifetime of work and advocacy to the table. Combined with the exceptional candidates of USAN, this is the team we need to move us into the future.”
Arnold said: “With the industry savvy, legislative success and chutzpah of Fran and the experience and activism of Anthony, the USAN team brings a thrilling energy of diversity to the future of SAG-AFTRA.”
Ballots were mailed to members on Tuesday and will be tabulated September 2.