Andrea Zuckerman may not have been the most popular person at West Beverly Hills High School, but the “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress who played her, Gabrielle Carteris, just landed a big job.
The union announced that Carteris has been elected as the new president of SAG-AFTRA. As executive vice president, she has been filling in as acting president ever since the death of Ken Howard last month. She was elected by the union’s board to complete Howard’s term, which will run until August of 2017. She will then be eligible to run for reelection.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen by the SAG-AFTRA National Board to serve the union and its members as president,” said Carteris. “Ken was a great union leader, friend and mentor. He left big shoes to fill, but with the support of the national board of directors and the membership, I am committed to improving the lives of all SAG-AFTRA members.”
Before becoming executive vice president, Carteris was a SAG-AFTRA national vice president for Los Angeles, and served both predecessor unions before the SAG/AFTRA merger in 2012. She was a part of the committee that developed the detailed merger plan.
Upon election, Carteris must vacate her role as executive vice president. The union board has elected soap opera star Rebecca Damon to replace Carteris in that role, noting that with stunt woman Jane Austin elected as secretary-treasurer last year, the union’s top three officers are now all female.
Damon commented, “It’s an honor to serve our members, and I’m grateful for Gabrielle’s trust and the support of my colleagues.” She added, “As executive vice president, I will continue working to expand SAG-AFTRA’s reach and to increase opportunities for members across the country. Following the peerless example of our beloved late president, Ken Howard, we will focus on member outreach to maximize the solidarity and bargaining strength of our remarkable union.”
With three women in charge of one of Hollywood’s biggest unions, we can only hope that conditions for women in the industry will improve.