TAG President Emeritus Tom Sito was at D23 in Anaheim today. He relates:
A dream come true meeting the great Ed Asner! I said to him how much I admired his union work. I said like him, I was president of my union, for three terms.
Ed smiled at me and said "You sad son-of-a-bitch!" ...
I know precisely whereof Tom speaks. Twenty years ago, he fought for the Animation Guild's 401(k) Plan (and got it); was the first union rep in the IA to propose shared union health benefits for same-sex couples (the coverage eventually happened), and generally pushed and shoved for the betterment of animators, board artists, and everybody else the Guild represents.
But he didn't preside over a perfect world or workplace. And when, at the turn of the century, animation work left L.A. during one of the industry's multiple downturns, he took flak for it. As animator Charlie Downs (a founder of the Animation Guild and one of TAG's presidents) once said: "You serve in a union position, you have a target on your back, because anything bad that happens you get blamed for it."
"Sad son-of-a-bitch." Pretty much sums it up. But Tom goes on:
He [Ed Asner] told me he wants to run for the SAG board again. " I wanna shake things up." I'd vote for him immediately!