Mark J. Terrill/AP
Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard is seen onstage at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The film “The Help” won big Sunday at the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Viola Davis won Best Actress, Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress, and the entire cast won Best Cast in a movie.
SAG president Ken Howard also took a break from the awarding of statuettes to tell union film and TV actors to prepare for a historic vote.
"We have been hard at work in creating a plan for a single union that will give our members maximum strength throughout the entertainment and media industries," Howard said. "And I am so proud to say that that historic moment of unity is at hand."
"This weekend, our boards have overwhelmingly endorsed a plan for the merger of SAG and AFTRA," Howard announced to lengthy applause.
Over the years, SAG and AFTRA have negotiated with and fought against one another. They’ve tried to merge before but couldn’t pull it off. Howard welcomed AFTRA president Roberta Reardon to the awards show last night. He said they’ve worked hard on a plan to form one strong union for actors.
"SAG-AFTRA will support a future of great entertainment for all of us. Of course, the final decision is in the hands of members," Howard said.
Sixty percent of the members in each union must vote to approve the merger plan. They’ll get ballots in the mail in about a month.