Representatives of multiple arts, entertainment, and media unions on February 12 announced a new policy agenda aimed at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their respective industries. During a press conference, hosted by the AFL-CIO’s Department of Professional Employees, the union leaders called on Congress to take action on multiple fronts, including:
- Passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
- Passing the Restoring Justice for Workers Act.
- Passing the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act.
- Passing the Ask Musicians For Music (AM-FM) Act.
- Supporting copyright reforms aimed at combating theft of lawful content.
- Increasing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
- Working with stakeholders, including unions, to develop diversity hiring and reporting objectives for grant recipients.
- Authorizing funding for Chief Diversity Officer positions at the NEA, NEH, and CPB.
- Following the lead of states to identify effective diversity requirements for federal tax incentives that will spur more inclusive hiring in film, television, and live entertainment.
“By joining forces with our AFL-CIO affiliate unions, we were able to impress upon those in the media that we are taking serious steps to actively affect working policies that impact the well-being of our diverse memberships, giving a leg up to those members while holding ourselves accountable at the highest levels for our members’ professional progress,” said Alfonso Pollard, AFM Diversity, Legislative, and Political Director, who represented the AFM at the press conference. “Gone are the days when reactionary dialogue after a critical, racially motivated event is enough. This is a permanent move on our parts to establish a roadmap, motivate our unions and craft new rules, changing the way we operate for the long run.”
In addition to the AFM, nine other unions joined in advocating for this DEI policy agenda, including the Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, Directors Guild of America, Guild of Italian American Actors, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Office and Professional Employees International Union, SAG-AFTRA, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Writers Guild of America, East.