Actors' Equity, IATSE, and More Theater Unions Celebrate Election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
"Joe Biden will be the most consequential president for the arts industry in a generation."
The major theater unions — Actors' Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), among them — have released statements celebrating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United Staes.
"During the current national crisis, we have seen clearly that Joe Biden understands and will promote policies that are in the best interests of our members, the nation, and the most vulnerable among us, and that he will follow through on his demonstrated commitment to the labor movement," said Evan Yionoulis, president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. "It was a privilege for us to join our fellow unions in supporting this candidacy. Joe Biden will be a president for all Americans. We know that the Biden-Harris administration augurs better times for us all."
Actors' Equity Association president Kate Shindle said in a statement, "The members of this union were proud to do our part. We mobilized to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at a desperate time for the theater and everyone who works in the arts. I am so moved by the dedication of our actors and stage managers. They volunteered so much time and energy to electing a president who cares about workers every single day, and will be laser focused on getting us safely back to work in the wake of this unprecedented pandemic and months-long shutdown."
Following Equity's endorsement of the Biden-Harris ticket, Equity members phone-banked in the weeks leading up to the election, speaking with constituents for more than 119 hours, or, long enough to have seen Angels in America in full 16 times. "Joe Biden will be the most consequential president for the arts industry in a generation. At a time when live entertainment is still largely dark because of the coronavirus, we will finally have a partner in the White House who will create a national strategy to bring the pandemic under control and put everyone in the arts back to work," added Equity executive director Mary McColl. "Until then, we need to reinstate pandemic unemployment so that displaced workers can pay their bills, increase arts funding and finally pass a COBRA subsidy to make health insurance affordable as unemployment stretches on."
Added IATSE during Biden's and Harris's victory speeches, "Tonight, Joe Biden accepted the victory delivered to him by the American People. And when he did, it was on a stage built by IATSE members in Delaware. Usually, we're the union behind entertainment. Now, we're a union behind HISTORY."