New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, announced its commitment to pursue a new diversity, equity and inclusion policy agenda for the industry in partnership with arts, entertainment and media unions.
From hair and costuming to casting and job access, issues of racism and white supremacy touch every facet of creating art. Our only path to true equity and inclusion is to champion it with a unified voice,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “As unions, we have committed with this new policy agenda to work together to effect change in our industry. It is long overdue.”
Also joining Equity on the call was Broadway actor and President of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition Britton Smith.
Last June, Equity’s council adopted a Black Lives Matter resolution, committing to re-examining Actors’ Equity Association from the ground up. In the months since, Equity has worked to develop staff, established working groups of members, developed guidance for employers and more.
The specific policy requests of these unions include:
- Passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act
- Passage of the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act
- Increased federal arts funding
- Federal tax incentives to encourage diverse hiring
For the full list of policy initiatives, see here.
The unions involved in this initiative, affiliated with the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), are:
- Actors’ Equity Association
- Directors Guild of America
- Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
- Writers Guild of America, East
- American Guild of Musical Artists
- American Federation of Musicians
- Office and Professional Employees International Union
- Guild of Italian American Actors
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
February 11, 2021