The theater industry “fell short” on fulfilling diversity and inclusion promises in 2020, a new report from theater performer and stage manager union Actors’ Equity finds.
In their third diversity and inclusion hiring bias report, released Thursday, Actors’ Equity scrutinized internal data on members that were hired under Equity contracts in 2020 and the compensation they received on average. (The union measures its demographics by surveying members on how they self-identify, but Actors’ Equity notes this data is not complete.) The union found “incremental progress” compared to previous reports scrutinizing the periods between 2013-2015 and 2016-2019, but still uncovered that “the rate of change is glacial,” writes diversity and inclusion strategist for the union, Bliss Griffin, in the report. Overall, the report finds notable pay gaps that benefited men and white members, a lack of racial/ethnic diversity in the union compared to the country at large and a “near-invisibility” for people with disabilities.