New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has reached an agreement with The Broadway League that releases its members who worked on the Broadway productions of To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story, The Iceman Cometh and The Lehman Trilogy from non-disclosure agreements they signed that prohibited them from speaking about workplace abuses from producer Scott Rudin. Equity first called for this change when Rudin was accused by former assistants last year of abusive workplace behavior, and it became clear that NDAs were preventing far more workers from speaking out.
The League also agrees that going forward its members will only use non-disclosure language in contracts or riders in limited, approved circumstances, such as protecting intellectual property or financial information. Producing members of The Broadway League may no longer use NDAs to silence actors and stage managers who want to speak out against workplace harassment, bullying or discrimination. Equity intends to bring similarly protective language forward in negotiations with their other bargaining partners in support of creating a new industry standard.
“As new shows develop, we understand that sometimes NDAs are necessary to protect these works in progress,” said Al Vincent, Jr., executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “However, NDAs may not and will not be used to protect anyone from the consequences of their own bad behavior. This settlement is a major step in ensuring they will not be used in that way again.”
Background: The Hollywood Reporter ran a news story alleging Scott Rudin’s workplace abuse on April 7, 2021. On April 12, 2021, Equity, IATSE and SAG-AFTRA released a joint statement condemning harassment and bullying. After continuing to talk privately with other unions and the Broadway League, on April 17, 2021, Equity publicly asked that Rudin release his staff from any NDAs they may have signed.
Any Equity member who has experienced or witnessed bullying, harassment or intimidation in a production can use the union’s anonymous hotline by calling 833-550-0030 or by going to ActorsEquity.org/safety.
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
May 18, 2022