The drama surrounding the contentious SAG-AFTRA presidential election took an ugly turn over the weekend when an actress tweeted of the union's leader, "Let's get rid of her once and for all!" and posted a GIF of a man shooting a gun.
The tweet, posted by actress Daria Rumi, was retweeted by opposition party MembershipFirst and its publicist Adam Nelson, according to Unite for Strength and USAN Leadership, which backed the election's winner, "Beverly Hills, 90210" actress Gabrielle Carteris.
"They have broken trust and foresaken the personal safety of a SAG-AFTRA member volunteer to score political points," Unite for Strength and USAN Leadership said in a statement on Sunday. "Regardless of any attempted damage control after the fact, it is simply inexcusable that a campaign would ever consider promoting this incitement of violence. Especially at a time in our country when the threat of gun violence is all too real."
MembershipFirst had backed "Full Metal Jacket" actor Matthew Modine to run for president against Carteris. Modine lost the election last month, garnering 10,682 votes or 35% of the ballots cast, compared with Carteris' 13,537 votes or 44% of the ballots cast.
Nelson, who represents Modine, on Sunday apologized for the retweet and said it was "performed in error and is expressly not a shared opinion." He tweeted that Membership First "affirmatively advocates only nonviolent protest of any election violations by Ms. Carteris."
"The retweet has since been undone," Nelson tweeted.
In a statement Monday, Nelson said he had tweeted about Carteris' electioneering and saw the text of Rumi's reply but not the GIF.
"In this case we offered an apology to anyone who may have viewed the accidental retweet which was only posted online a short time before realizing the mistake," Nelson said in an e-mail. He added the retweets "do not imply endorsements."
The tweet brought a rebuke from David White, the national executive director of SAG-AFTRA, who sent a letter to the board that the union had "zero tolerance for this kind of conduct."
"In an age when violence in the workplace and in public settings is something our entire nation is grappling with, there is simply no place in our union for bullying, violent discourse and threats of harm," White wrote in his letter.