Actors’ Equity Acknowledges Its “Historic Culpability In Perpetuating Inequity”, Vows Reforms

Actors’ Equity said today that it is “taking steps to become an anti-racist organization.” A formal resolution passed by the union’s council regarding the Black Lives Matter movement states that Equity “recognizes the impact that systemic racism and white supremacy have had on its own structures, acknowledges its historic culpability in perpetuating inequity, and is committed to doing the work to untether itself from all forms of unjust action.”

The council’s resolution goes on to say that “we will address the systemic racism both inside our union and its structures – including one’s ability to join and sustain membership, as well as one’s access to full participation – as well as in our industry more broadly.”

See the full resolution here.

Actors’ Equity, which represents more than 51,000 theatrical actors and stage managers across the country, is the fourth entertainment union this week to accept some measure of responsibility for the systemic bias faced by their members of color. Earlier today, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society said that the time has come “to own our responsibility and use our influence to end racist policies and practices in our field.” On Monday, in the wake of nationwide protests over racism and police brutality, leaders of the WGA West urged its members – television showrunners – “to take their share of responsibility” for the lack of diversity in writers rooms. And on that same day, the president of the American Federation of Musicians pledged “to continue to confront the ways our union and the music industry have contributed to persistent systemic racism.”

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