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Actors' Equity Supports NYC Cell Phone Ban logo

Actors' Equity Association (AEA) has come out in favor of the ban on cellular phone usage at public performances. "Every actor I have spoken with is totally in favor of the cell-phone ban," stated AEA executive director Alan Eisenberg. "We hope the theatres will aggressively enforce the law."

As Mike Salinas detailed in his previous story for TheaterMania, the New York City Council voted 38-5 yesterday to override New York mayor Mike Bloomberg's veto of the proposal. This will make the usage of cell phones during performances illegal and subject to a $50 fine as of April 13, when the law will take effect.

How difficult it will be to enforce the ban remains to be seen, but city councilman Phil Reed feels confident about the ban's effects. "It's empowering to be able to say, 'You're violating the law, it's against the law to talk on the phone, turn it off.' And if you have somebody who's going to continue to talk and talk and talk, the management can insist that they stop. They can say, 'I'm going to get a police officer.'"

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