Actors' Equity Association Responds to the Pro99 Lawsuit

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Well that was quick, and predictable. Here it is from their site:

Actors’ Equity Association Statement on the Minimum Wage Lawsuit

Actors’ Equity Association is a labor union that exists primarily to advocate for better wages and working conditions for its artist members.

After dedicating months of staff time, conducting surveys and membership meetings—and considering the results of the advisory referendum, which prompted AEA’s Council to carve out even more exemptions to its original proposals—the governing body created a system that would allow for some members to be paid minimum wage for rehearsals and performances, while those who chose to would still be able to volunteer their time to a) self-produce, b) perform with membership companies under the new internal membership rules, and c) appear in 50-seat showcases. Only non-member-driven producing organizations are subject to the new minimum wage requirements, which are certainly not a radical concept in any case.

It is disappointing that this prolonged process has now resulted in what will surely be a very expensive litigation for Equity. Unfortunately, the real victims here are the members all over the country who understand that when a single community files costly lawsuits and buys full page ads in major newspapers to insist that they should not be paid, it has an inevitable and deleterious effect on the union’s bargaining power for the rest of its members.

Equity is fully prepared to defend both the process and the substance of Council’s actions.

Once again taking no responsibility for their actions. Tone. Deaf.

Comments (3)

U 63140 t 5120443

No surprise here. AEA members, be prepared to watch your membership dues go to pay for expensive lawyers to fight to get rid of LA’s small theatres. At hundreds of dollars per hour, they (the lawyers) have way more to gain than AEA members on both sides of the issue.

Default user

It’s good battle strategy in their stupid and pointless war against us. They’re attempting to marginalize us and turn the rest of the membership against LA. Judging by the comments posted on their Facebook page, it’s working.

Default user

Such bull mararky it’s hard to fathom. I recently self- produced a new play and pad the actors a stipend amounting to $725 for six weeks of reahearsals. I did it to bring attention to my play that took me six years to write. When no producer would step up I did what I had to do to see my play done and spent $70K on a labor of love. My play attracted a solid group of really pro actors who loved it and threw in with me to showcase themselves. One is now nominated for an ovation and everyone of them loved the experience. Go f*&% yourself equity.


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