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Amidst the reopening of theaters after the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Actors’ Equity Association (“Actors’ Equity”) was criticized for not adequately meeting the needs of its membership and for reacting too slowly in announcing its Covid Safety Plans, which left theaters without enough time to become compliant. At the time, one fear that its members had was that, because Actors’ Equity does not usually allow its members to perform without a union contract, theaters might forgo union contracts for their productions and turn to the non-union labor pool instead. At the same time, Actors’ Equity was in the process of rolling out its “Diversity and Inclusion Retrofit.” This program—also known as “Open Access”—was designed to address the gatekeeping and lack of diversity that had shown up in the union’s November 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Report, the second installment of this 2017 addition to the union’s reporting systems.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution website on June 16, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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