The Actors’ Equity Assn. launched a letter-writing campaign Sunday urging U.S. senators and representatives to take emergency action for those working in the theater industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign aims to help the many actors, stage managers and other industry workers displaced suddenly and indefinitely due to the spread of COVID-19.
The news was shared in a series of tweets from the organization’s official Twitter account.
“Now is the time for Congress and local governments to put workers first to ensure that everyone who works in the arts and entertainment sector has access to emergency paid leave, health care and unemployment benefits,” read the letter. “Payroll tax cuts won’t help those whose theaters are now dark. For every middle-class actor you see onstage, there are dozens more working behind the scenes and in an administrative capacity.”
As theatres shutter, professional actors, stage managers and everyone who works in theatre are at risk of lost income, health care and retirement savings.— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) March 15, 2020
Learn how you can help protect live entertainment workers: https://t.co/2v3ginjaiw pic.twitter.com/tvGTyJwvE1
The news comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended the cancellation of public gatherings with 250 or more people in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Soon after, every major Los Angeles theater (as well as all of Broadway) scrapped their March shows.
As this story was published, the association had sent 4,228 letters achieving more than two thirds of its goal of 6,400.