Los Angeles, California (Wednesday, February 10, 2016) — The SAG-AFTRA President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement and SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee in a joint meeting on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 unanimously approved the following statement:
- This moment isn’t only about race. This isn’t only about the lack of faces and voices of color. This is about disability. This is about age. This is about gender and gender identity. This is about sexual orientation. This is about the diversity of our stories, of our experiences, of our perspectives. So many of these are, right now, missing from our screens.
- SAG-AFTRA members work in the most visible workplace on the planet and we will continue to use this visibility to shine a light on the inequity that still exists throughout all levels of the entertainment and news media—in terms of opportunity, treatment and compensation.
- Statistical representation is a helpful tool to measure progress but isn’t the ultimate goal. It’s about more and better jobs for all of our members; in particular those who have been historically and categorically denied opportunities to compete for these jobs.
- Greater inclusion is needed throughout every level: from executive
suites, to writers’ rooms; from agencies to the cast and crew members
on-set. All the greenlighters and gatekeepers need to understand that
this is a business imperative and not a politically correct
luxury—audiences are choosing authenticity over platitudes and will
continue to make those choices with their time and their money.
“There does seem to be momentum now towards inclusiveness,” added SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris. “But we won’t really see change happen until those in authority take responsibility and choose to make decisions based on authenticity. These decisions directly impact which stories and people are present and, more importantly, which are missing.”
“The most creative workplaces and most dynamic environments are flush with diversity. The faces we see on screen and voices we hear on the radio deeply matter to an audience hungry for authenticity,” said Jason George, chair of the SAG-AFTRA Diversity Advisory Committee.