You're enjoying one of 5 free monthly articles on AmericanTheatre.org. You have 4 articles remaining.

Please SUBSCRIBE or LOG IN to access unlimited articles.

  • porterpnyc

    God, please let me never get cast in a show with Demetrius Martin

  • porterpnyc

    This woman is full of shit, and is what is wrong with Actors Equity. Equity should get the fuck out of the 99 seat theatre business altogether, and turn their attention to larger problems such as touring productions.

  • greaser1977

    foul and backstabbing by the union- already weak on the west coast and nearly a joke to deal with….as for the 99 seat plan- it has served many of us well….Mary and her band of merry pirates have done themselves in by standing against the vote of the majority

  • normanx

    It is sad when the management of a union does not listen to the overwhelming majority of their members in a particular market. Self determination is the right of every worker… and that self determination has been cut off by a tone deaf management which has ‘promulgated’ our community through a campaign of mendacity, opaqueness and condescension. It is shocking and ultimately weakens the solidarity of union members which is so very important. The issue is not with the Los Angeles AEA members, it is with the management of AEA.

  • John Lee

    Thank you, American Theatre Magazine for your skeptical tone. This is lies and obfuscation. Listening to one third of any group qualifies technically as listening. Failing to pay the slightest heed to sixty six per cent of any group qualifies this entire response as mendacious.

    • Demetrius Martin

      Frankly, I’m disappointed at Rob’s tone in this article, more critical tone than anything asked of the pro-99 advocates. I have news for you: McColl’s views reflect how most of the membership feels nationally. LA is operating in a bubble, as those of us who have both worked in and produced in LA know. If the advisory vote was open to national membership, the opinion would have been far different.

      • John Lee

        This comment makes about as much sense as suggesting that Oklahoma’s senators would be a lot more liberal if New Yorkers got to vote there. If Los Angeles had a say in East Coast matters the tone of the union would be a lot less condescending.

        • Demetrius Martin

          I’m sorry? That’s really not the same thing at all. You’re comparing voting in the United States with a private non-profit with specific by-laws. Union workers in a national union adjust for some regional realities, but the prime directive of any union is not to work for free, outside of an educational, internship / journeyman, or benefit capacity.

          • John Lee

            Demetrius, it matters not at all what we have to say in these fora. The proposal passed by Council is a dead letter. It will never be implemented and even if, by some anti-democratic miracle it were, we would simply ignore it. Oh, no, Equity has told me to cease and desist! Excuse me while I return to scratching my ass.

          • Blokker

            Some one doesn’t know what volunteering means.
            I do have a question.. (Since no one has ever heard of you or has any idea what you “produced in LA”.. Feel free to lie or claim some untruth.)
            How much over minimum wage did you pay your actors/SM.. Did you pay the designers IATSE rates?

          • tim simms

            The simplest search on Google will turn up Mr. Martin’s CV. Denigrating him just because you personally have never heard of him, and because he disagrees with you, makes you look silly and childish. I have read several of your comments, and I hope you are very, very young. It would be a shame to see such immature comments from an adult.

          • Blokker

            Oh the irony.. Tell me Mr. Tim Simms aka Mature Adult.. Did your fancy Google sleuthing turn up how much over minimum this famous producer paid?

          • tim simms

            Yes, it did.
            That said, our conversation is finished.

          • tim simms

            I agree. And if you are in an educational, internship/journeyman capacity, maybe you’re not ready to join the union yet.

  • Phil Abrams

    http://stageraw.com/2015/04/27/questions-unanswered-by-aea/

    I wonderful article addressing all the points that Ms. McColl deigned not to answer!

    • CrackerJacker

      Thanks for that link — good read.

  • LAActor

    This sentence sticks out. I wonder why Ms. McColl chooses to not listen? “a large and vocal contingent …. tell me how angry they are.”

  • Wendy Worthington

    Ms. McColl is, as ever, good at doublespeak and very bad indeed at actual communication. Aside from all the other things that previous posters mention, she carps at the speed with which we responded to the April 21 vote, arguing that we needed to read the proposals in details before rejecting them out of hand. Yet I would argue that the speed with which the council acted on this (not to even begin talking about every duplicitous and tone-deaf thing that came before) was in itself cause enough for outrage. The members’ vote, that overwhelming 2-to-1 landslide that came through despite AEA’s best efforts to convince members to vote for the original proposal, had just been announced four days earlier. No one in his right might could have expected a reasoned, nuanced revision in the original proposal to have been crafted and voted on in just FOUR DAYS. And the most casual glance at the summary offered by Ms. McColl herself of what was new showed that much of this was NOT new. It was, instead, a much longer, more complicated version of the original proposal with a few cosmetic, appeasing changes and a lot of even more restrictive options. Designed in part to ALLOW her to say, “Wait! Read the whole thing! Give us a minute to breathe and pat ourselves on the back!” Our current leadership has accomplished only one really good thing in all of this unnecessary nonsense, though it is something I am quite certain they did not intend to accomplish: They have brought this vibrant, engaged, inventive, and quite bright community together in a way we have not been together since the last time members of Equity were forced to take their own union to court. Will they be proud of themselves if that is what this comes to? They should not be. They should be deeply, deeply ashamed.

  • Matt

    LA Stage Alliance is in the process of a research project, funded by the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, focused on better understanding the business models and economic realities of the sprawling 99-seat theater community of Los Angeles, with results being shared on May 16. Wouldn’t that data have been highly relevant to Equity in crafting their proposal if their goal truly was to foster economic opportunities for their constituents? Instead Equity’s councillors forged their final decision in a mere four days after receipt of the results of the advisory vote, based more or less on anecdotal information about LA theater (much of it faulty) — rather than thoughtful, objective MATH. This is why 2 out of 3 of their own constituents — those on the ground in L.A., those who actually would stand to benefit if these ideas held water — begged their leadership to stop, study and strategize. If the goal was to increase opportunities for their constituents through growing a vital and fertile theater scene in Los Angeles, Equity’s process was reckless and irresponsible to say the least. If their goal was simply to neutralize the 99 Seat Review Committee via elimination of the 99 Seat Plan, then their process makes all the sense in the world.

  • Emily

    AEA has treated Los Angeles Theater like the black sheep of the family since this began. This is more of the same disingenuous behavior.

    Aside from the clear fact that McColl refused to answer many of these perfectly valid questions, and instead danced around them, many important facts are missing from this info. Such as how the changes that Equity made to the proposal were never shared with L.A. before being passed. Or how in order for people to take advantage of the change to membership company option, they need to give up all the safety and protections that AEA offers, even if they are in good standing and paying their dues. How about how new membership companies cannot form under this new plan unless they can already afford to pay minimum wage, or are non-union only.

    AEA has failed Los Angeles. Completely.

  • Armina LaManna

    Thanks to the new possibilities and choices, LA can finally begin to build the infrastructure it has lacked to achieve in its 30 years of artist-subsidized labor. This will be a difficult, but exciting time.

    • LAActor

      Oh my.

    • rlev

      Armina is so clearly in the minority, here and within the 99 seat community, that one wonders where her loyalties actually lay. She of all people should know that these “agreements” will never fly and that the goal of AEA is to undermine and ultimately bulldoze the entire small theater movement in LA. If she were really committed to growth both in jobs and wages, she should ask her union why it never pickets the 2500 seat Pantages Theater when a non-union musical comes to town, which is regularly, or stands up for local actors when NY actors are just as regularly cast in LORT productions in LA.

      • Armina LaManna

        How do you know I haven’t asked about the Pantages? Or stood up for local actors when it comes to being cast in LORT shows? You don’t. I have and continue to do so. In fact, as recently as today. I am very involved with my union and many of my fellow union members. And when it comes to protesting working for free, I am by far not the minority in our NATIONAL union. There was a reason folks were determined to have the vote happen only in LA (in addition to it being mandated by the S.A.) – they knew if the whole country voted, the National membership would very clearly speak with one voice – against unpaid labor.

        • rlev

          Then why not make your views on those actual issues public? I don’t know it, because you’re not constantly posting about it. As far as being a “national” union, first of all you have no evidence what national membership would say in a vote either way. But you do know that LA membership voted 66% No. But more to the point, nothing could argue more persuasively in favor of chartering locals, like a real union.

          • Armina LaManna

            I don’t think I could be anymore public about my thoughts on theatre, rlev (sorry, don’t know your real name). And I see nothing but a better theatrical landscape in the cards for my city.

          • tim simms

            Interesting that the person who wants you to be more public doesn’t even have the guts to show their real name.

          • Demetrius Martin

            of the 50,000 in our membership, I believe I can say with confidence that the majority of AEA members exist outside of LA. Since many actors in LA use theater as a showcase for film and TV, many of us who enjoy our profession feel we’re valued more elsewhere. We have over 3,000 members in the Northern California region and we tend to vote like Chicago and other liaison cities east of the Mississippi, so I really think Armina and I have more evidence LA’s 66% is not a reflection of the majority.

          • Blokker

            Spin those funky numbers DM! Your region and most of the top 10 are clearly way smaller than LA. That’s like saying well yes the top team won the most games but they’d lose if we combined all the rest of the teams victories together.
            The point is LA’s voice shouldn’t be neglected with the numbers they hold in the Union.

      • Demetrius Martin

        Indeed you just proved that the pro99 voices attack members first, then blame the union for attacking them. (see comments above). And Armina isn’t in the minority: most AEA members in the country think this change only fair.

        • Blokker

          Geez.. You need to look up the definition of the word attack.. It’s embarrassing.

      • tim simms

        Oh dear, now we are pitting actors in one locale against actors in another? This is not good. AEA is one union for all actors.

    • William Lewis Salyers

      I hope you still feel that way after this travesty is reversed in the courts.

      • tim simms

        I highly doubt any court in this land is going to reverse paying minimum wage.

        • William Lewis Salyers

          Hm. Well, that will have some interesting implications on all of society, won’t it? Mandating that volunteers must be paid minimum wage. The churches and schools will be interested.

          • tim simms

            I highly doubt those churches and schools hire union members.
            Absolutely no one is saying actors can’t volunteer. Non-union actors can do whatever they want.

          • William Lewis Salyers

            We’ll see. I’ve spoken with some attorneys who think you may be mistaken, but, heck… what would they know?

          • tim simms

            You’re probably right. I guess it was wrong of me to say that non-union actors can do whatever they want. I suppose murder and robbery are out. hahaha

          • William Lewis Salyers

            You don’t think teamsters ever drive anywhere – for anyone – without getting paid? I’m a union voice actor; if I record an outgoing message for a friend, or my son’s school, does your sense of justice demand that I charge scale?
            Like I said, the assertion that “professionals” – union members, if you prefer – must never volunteer has some pretty far-reaching consequences, if followed to its logical conclusion.

          • tim simms

            It sounds to me like you need to read your union contract. If, by “must never volunteer” you mean for anything at all, you are being ridiculous. I’m talking about acting, not about your friend’s message, or a morning picking up chairs after your son’s school assembly.

          • William Lewis Salyers

            Ah, but, you see, that’s not how the law works, Tim. The law doesn’t care what I “mean,” or what you’re “talking about.” When Equity challenges an actor’s right to volunteer, they create an opportunity for test cases that will address this very thing, and it won’t just be about actors. I don’t think that’s ridiculous, at all. I think it has some pretty serious implications.

  • Brad Hills

    Your dissembling remarks regarding the law and minimum wage do not hold up to scrutiny Ms. McColl. There is no such law and actors participating in the 99-seat plan were defined, by the plan, as volunteers. Most of these theatres are set up as 501(c)3’s, so volunteering was very much a legal way for them to participate with them. And none of us have ANY idea who in L.A. you and the “councilors” think you’re listening to. The very obvious conclusion is that you are only listening to the VERY FEW who actually support this hijacking of an extremely important cultural institution and economic engine in the county of Los Angeles. Again, two-thirds said no to this plan. Who should you be listening to?

    • Demetrius Martin

      Actually, she listened to the National membership as well, as is her duty as Executive Director. Many of us have worked in LA at some point (some of us have produced there as well, at the 99-seat level) and wonder why this was allowed to proliferate since LA isn’t necessarily more creative or hold more art than any other liaison city. In that regard, she didn’t listen to very few but a majority who believed this detrimental to the union as a whole, giving an argument to anti-union voices nationwide. Frankly, LA should show some solidarity and realize how this raises the bar. Also, I believe you’re confusing issues between general volunteerism for 501c3 and the agreement (which did require a stipend so could be argued as payment well below minimum wage). Indeed it’s possible they could have been held to some scrutiny if a case with the Labor Board were brought. The only hijacking that’s been done has been by those who think the tail should wag the dog: theater in LA has been used as a practice medium, bait for film and TV work, and as such it is devalued. The idea that AEA is crushing art or small business is cliche conservative talking points– hyperbole at best when usually the opposite is proved.

      • Brad Hills

        Several points about your reply are not as informed as you might perhaps like, Demetrius. First of all, the 99-seat plan itself stipulated that actors working in the plan would be considered to be volunteers, so there is no confusion on my part, read the plan. 2nd, I appreciate that she may be listening to the national membership, but why is anybody’s opinion outside of L.A. relevant to this issue, which is VERY local. The plan was created as a response to actors that wanted that kind of opportunity. L.A. has the 2nd largest AEA membership in the nation, with only NYC being larger. And the drop-off to 3rd place is pretty steep. Actors here want to work just as actors ANYWHERE want to work, the plan allowed that opportunity to exist and to grow. It is unique to this city by simple virtue of the sheer number of actors (and associated theatre artists) that live here. 3rd, I would submit that because of those numbers, L.A. is in fact the MOST creative city in the nation, if not in the world. Is there a lot of crap? Of course, but I’m sure you will admit that is the case anywhere. There is also an incredible amount of excellent, first-class work being done by dedicated, talented, hard-working theatre craftspeople. Which brings me to my final point. For you to say that theatre in LA. is a practice medium is simply insulting. Insulting on every level to all of us who have spent their lives in this city doing work that is as good as any you’ll find anywhere. It shows a complete lack of understanding of what the 99-seat plan is, what it accomplishes and why it should remain intact as a cultural engine in our great city. Another reason why this is a local issue and why what you think is irrelevant to the discussion.

      • John Lee

        Demetrius, a point of information: Los Angeles produces more theatre than any other city in the world. It has done for a very long time now.

        • Demetrius Martin

          really? and where are you getting these statistics from? Seriously, I’ve not heard that. I could see the entire Southern Cal area possibly doing that– (the whole world?) but all the more reason why union labor can make at least minimum wage. Can’t the area withstand such a change?

          • John Lee

            Demetrius, LA has been the most productive theatre city in the world for a long time. Yes, with less than half the population of New York we produce exponentially more theatre. The connection between numbers of productions and the need for minimum wage is completely fallacious. The amount of theatre we produce is directly attributable to the current 99 seat plan. Did you think the blossoming of LA theatre immediately after the 1988 agreement was a coincidence? Such thinking would explain your rather faulty understanding of democracy.

      • greaser1977

        you’d fall over yourself to have the tv and film jobs in LA Demetrius, as i bet you do in new York- and the snobbery that NEW YORK is theater and blah blah blah the usual crap we on the west coast get constantly is absurd- who the hell do you think sells the shows on broadway half the time- tv and film stars.

        • Demetrius Martin

          well, living in SF as I do, you’re wrong. and having integrity as I do, I’ve turned down “falling all over myself” to sleep with a producer for a part, which actually happened a few times in LA. Please, those comments are beneath you, I’m sure.

          • Blokker

            You can afford SF on an actor’s salary. You must work exclusively at ACT and even then.. It’s absolutely unlikely. Something isn’t adding up in your little story.
            You should know living in SF how the professional theatre scene ends up being hampered by these NYC standards being thrust upon every city.
            It’s like you have Stockholm Syndrome.

          • porterpnyc

            I wish i could mute you on my feed. Sleep with a producer? You’re a jerk.

  • Rebecca Metz

    Rob is asking important questions here, and it’s telling that the answers are frustratingly vague.

    In the lead-up to the referendum vote, Equity and Ms. McColl specifically, tried everything they could to make members think the vote was on change in general, not on these specific proposals. But now, in the face of an overwhelming ‘No’ from the membership, Equity and Ms. McColl say the vote was actually about these proposals exactly as written, and even the most cosmetic changes mean that vote has been honored. It’s a complete 180.

    Equity is being similarly slippery on the question of legality and minimum wage. If actors were employees at these theaters, Equity’s argument might hold water; but we’re not. We’re volunteering for 501c3 organizations, and California also strongly upholds the right of individuals to volunteer. That does not preclude an increase in stipends, according to a tiered system that scales UP to minimum wage, creating a real bridge for small theaters to transition to contract.

    Finally, enough with the anti-member rhetoric. “… every other tweet and email” is NOT threatening to sue. A cursory glance at Twitter demonstrates that. Are there people expressing anger over Equity’s decisions, not just last week but throughout this “kerfuffle?” Yes. As there are Equity representatives who relentlessly called their own fellow members “anti-union” for daring to disagree with a bad policy, and suggested we should quit the union if we don’t like it, apparently oblivious to the damage that would do to the union as a whole. Those of us committed to finding a solution simply ignored those fringe voices and moved forward to use our voices and votes to make ourselves clear. Surely Equity’s leadership is capable of doing the same.

    • Demetrius Martin

      Ms. McColl never mislead any of us that this was a referendum, an advisory vote. I’ve read and listened to every statement. It’s simply your impression.
      And this is “right to volunteer” is a red herring. AEA is not taking away the “right to volunteer.” Indeed all AEA members are allowed to do anything with their wages, so if you believe in the non-profit you work with, then donate the salary back. This is about those of us who would like to CHOOSE to do so, not being forced or even pay separate dues to be a “member” of the company. We’re talking about a labor union here, the fundamental purpose is to get their members paying work. That’s their prime directive.

      Lastly, how do you know? Are you moderating AEA’s Twitter feed? You have access to their email servers? I’m certain some of the more vitriolic posts may have been monitored for content and removed, and threats would be removed by Twitter admins. And I’ve not heard one person on staff at AEA call any member anti-union. I’m just another active member and I haven’t called anyone anti-union but rather said their talking points were similar to anti-union forces, many sounded identical to Scott Walker. Perhaps AEA Angelenos should pull out and take a more objective view of what this looks like to those of us outside. And read the final proposal: the world will not at an end.

      • Rebecca Metz

        Ms. McColl and Equity repeatedly said that a No vote in the referendum was a vote for the status quo, and a Yes vote was a vote for change. In fact, the vote was very specifically and narrowly about the specific proposal, as written, which she says in this interview.

        Donating money is not the same thing as volunteering time.

        I am active on Twitter, in the Pro99 community, and have spoken a number of times with Councilors. While I know very well there has been a lot of vitriol (which I have been very active and vocal in denouncing), I have not heard or seen any evidence that anywhere near half of that communication involves a threat to sue. It’s an exaggeration, and an unhelpful one.

        Comparing union members who disagree with a single policy with Scott Walker and suggesting that I or anyone else believes the world will end as a result of bad policy are similarly unhelpful exaggerations, and have no place in this conversation.

        • Demetrius Martin

          Uh, don’t quite follow your argument on “change v status quo” but “donating money is not the same as volunteering time?” I suppose not exactly, but having worked in many non-profits, volunteer labor can be used as a donation– Cisco employees have a portal where they volunteer to work at homeless shelters and the organization I worked for acknowledged them as such and the numbers are reported as having value. Donating your check back to the organization is effectively the same thing, except you’re giving your fellow union workers a choice to do so. What’s wrong with that?
          If you studied the history on the issue, the reason 99 seat was there and why AEA had to have a referendum vote was because of a suit in the late 80’s; I have seen for myself that some persons are claiming a suite will happen because of this, based on that prior settlement.
          And, I’m sorry, but you may not have seen some of the comments on many threads, not just your own, that are straight from the Scott Walker playbook. It wasn’t an exaggeration, and given some of the comments on this thread directed at me, my comment had more place in this conversation then above.

          • Rebecca Metz

            It wasn’t my argument, it was Equity’s, and the reason you don’t follow it is that it wasn’t true.

            Speaking of not following arguments, are you now suggesting that it’s ok for union actors to be technically paid under a contract, but to donate the money back to the theater? Because Equity would STRONGLY Disagree.

            I am well aware of the history of the 99 seat issue, and stand by the assertion that comparing dues paying union members to a hard-line anti-unionist is both ridiculous and counterproductive.

      • John Lee

        Oh, what a fine line you draw, Demetrius. It’s not calling us “anti-union” if you refer to our behavior as “like anti-union behavior”. Last time I looked it was undemocratic and, therefore, anti-union, to pass a measure that was voted down by even a single vote. Explain. Please do not use nonsense verbiage such as “advisory”.

        • Demetrius Martin

          it’s clear you don’t know how this works within your own union. This wasn’t like a vote on a contract, so it’s wasn’t “undemocratic.” thankfully, for the rest of the country’s membership . . we just don’t understand why you all would vote against your own interest.

  • Christopher Carothers .

    Congratulations to Mary McColl for her forthright and level-headed answers. She did, however neglect to mention that AEA has also introduced the SPT contract (with its tiers) to Los Angeles as well.

    • Brad Hills

      Hilarious.

  • LAActor

    I’m unclear as to how Ms. McColl can call the willful steamrolling of 66% of the Los Angeles AEA voters who voted NO to AEA’s proposals and the subsequent shock and anger a “kerfuffle.” Union members, no matter where they stand on this issue, should be outraged by treatment of members by AEA staff and elected councilpersons.

  • Corey Klemow

    “The new 99-seat agreement is the lowest negotiable contract that’s ever been offered anywhere.”

    Which is one of the many reasons it’s such a terrible idea. We had a volunteer code, where it can be assumed that any AEA actor has a professional quote that they are choosing to waive when playing their craft at microbudget theaters (the “producers” of which are largely actors and other theatermakers who are losing money, not commercial producers), and that the value of that quote is worth at least as much as a living wage contract. Only now, for the first time ever, that worth is that of a part-time Arby’s employee. So this does exactly the opposite of what it’s supposedly intended to do, by officially LOWERING the floor for contract work.

    To parse this a slightly different way: the existence of the 99-seat plan has been criticized by those who say that it holds down wages across the country, when producers in negotiations ask why they should improve wages when actors in L.A. are willing to work for free. The easy answer to this (regardless of the mischaracterization of required stipends as “for free”) is that the conditions under which that happens included an agreement that strictly limited number of seats and ticket prices and number of performances so that it wasn’t a worthwhile endeavor for any commercial producers looking to turn a profit, and it was mostly only used by actors and other theatermakers looking to do passion projects with no profit motive. It was repeatedly alleged that commercial producers were taking advantage of the 99-seat plan, but nobody ever came up with any examples. If there were any, they were few and far between, and could have been easily stopped by adding a budget cap to the plan rather than eliminating it entirely.

  • Phil Abrams

    The rallying cry for AEA was ‘Minimum Wage – it’s the LAW!’ It’s obvious that this is/was a red-herring as AEA has offered up even more loopholes for actors to NOT get paid (even a stipend) in their new proposals (which should have had a 45 day review according to the Settlement agreement). What does Ms. McColl and all those PROS GET PAID folks have to say about the fact that AEA is now going to break the law that they kept haranguing about?! The question to be answered is: How is AEA saving money by enacting this ill-fitted proposal? Follow the money!

  • BeenThere

    As an Equity member of more the 20 years I have to say this entire controversy has been an embarrassment. The degree of mendacity and unprofessional behavior shown by Ms. McColl and her colleagues makes one despair for the union movement and the future of professional theater in the USA. This was an undemocratic effort from the beginning. The disrespect shown to the rank and file union membership in Los Angeles is glaring. Lawsuits are undoubtedly going to follow on from this ill advised course of action. Clearly a house cleaning is due at Equity.

    • Demetrius Martin

      Actually, most of the negative comments come from those “pro99” persons and the rest of us national members find the uninformed membership fairly embarrassing.

      • Rebecca Metz

        The voter turnout in the advisory referendum was 44% — four times larger than the 10-12% that vote in national elections. The number of LA members who voted was equal to the total number of Equity members who voted in the last national election in total. That lack of engagement is what members should find embarrassing.

        LA members are proud that we are becoming more engaged with our union, and hope members in other cities will join us.

        • Demetrius Martin

          Really? so our colleagues in NYC are not as engaged with AEA? Sure, national engagement on contract votes are similar to many national union elections, but we’re talking a regional participation (I’m sure you’re find stats on some NYC elections that had high turnout) and comparing it to a national election is misleading, since it included non-office cities and dilutes the turnout numbers. Frankly, the LA turnout was high given the celebrities in tow and inflaming a mis-informed electorate to vote against their own interests. Theater will not die in LA because waiver is now minimum wage.

          • Rebecca Metz

            I’m not sure why you’re so focused on trying to spin everything I’ve said.

            Turnout in the LA referendum was about 4 times higher than in most national or regional votes. That’s not an attack on members in NY or anywhere else, it’s just a fact. That high turnout was a result of a huge effort on the part of rank-and-file Equity members who are fully informed and passionate about this issue, myself included. The Councilors and staff members I’ve spoken to are thrilled that LA members are so much more engaged now than in the past.

            (Speaking of being informed, it is not the case at all that “waiver is now minimum wage.” There are still waivers in place, both in LA and in NY. We continue to be concerned about working out the details, in order to most effectively benefit members and the theater community as a whole.)

            I’ve been very outspoken in calling for people on all sides of this issue to criticize ideas, not people. Stop trying to so hard to disparage people simply because they disagree with you.

          • tim simms

            “Blokker” writes, “Silly little DM…” and “It’s fun to play pretend” and you denigrate Demetrius for disparaging people? I think you are mistaken here.

          • Rebecca Metz

            I didn’t denigrate anyone, nor does the behavior or someone I don’t know negate valid criticism of the comments of someone I’m having a direct conversation with. But duly noted that you think I’m mistaken.

          • tim simms

            This is not a private, or direct, conversation. It is a public comments board.

          • Blokker

            Silly little DM thinks his opinions/misunderstandings are facts and facts that conflict with his opinions are attacks or insults.
            It’s fun to play pretend.

      • Blokker

        You masquerading your experience/opinion as facts… That’s what’s embarrassing.

  • lastballoon

    Deflect. Deny and Dissemble.

    I guess these are the new virtues when you defy and attack your own members. She’s an affront to the art of theatre.

  • rlev

    So disingenuous .
    “Producers already calling to work with us.” (“Producers!?” She means “actors who produce” right?). Prove it.
    “Minimum wage still the floor.” Except for actors in membership companies abandoned by AEA to no support or protections at all — not Equity’s problem.
    The headline should read “McColl Fans Flames.”

  • William Lewis Salyers

    The saddest part of all this is that AEA has decided to weaken itself by attacking its own members in a highly questionable manner that will almost definitely see a legal reversal. Our union squandered precious political capital trying to eat its own.

  • CrackerJacker

    There’s a lot of doublespeak in them thar hills…

close
Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow buttonFollow Us on InstagramFollow Us on Instagram