Ask members if they think their wages are higher, pensions stronger, and contracts better — after the so-called “merger”? Looking past the self-congratulatory propaganda of the Carteris dominated board and obedient staff, you’ll find most members now know the truth.
The former SAG general counsel joined the guild in 2009 as national executive director and guided it through a merger with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in March 2012. Two previous attempts at the merger had been unsuccessful and plagued by infighting.
White served as SAG-AFTRA’s lead negotiator in contract talks with the major studios that last year resulted in wage increases and improvements in residuals from streaming services. The union estimated the value of the three-year contract covering motion pictures, scripted prime-time dramatic television and new media production at $318 million.
In 2019, SAG-AFTRA struck its first deal with Netflix to further protect members whose work is increasingly channeled through the streaming platform.
Earlier this year, the union developed agreements for new media sectors to cover the growing influencer industry.
During his tenure, SAG-AFTRA developed technology capabilities that included direct deposits for member residual payments; a sexual harassment reporting platform; and an online portal launching in late 2021 that will streamline the process for signing independent producers.
Along with Carteris, White led the union’s four-year effort to combat sexual harassment in the industry and was a key author of its 2018 sexual harassment code of conduct, prohibiting unaccompanied auditions in private hotel rooms and residences. The code also included standards for intimacy coordinators.
The union also credited White with bolstering its general fund, which had been depleted before he assumed operational leadership, and helping it weather the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic.