Despite theater industry pledges to improve its track record on diversity and inclusion in hiring, the follow-through has fallen “far short” of the promises, says a new report by Actors’ Equity Association.
The actors and stage managers union says in its third annual Diversity and Inclusion Hiring Bias Report that statistics for the year 2020 indicate that the percentage of contracts going to members of color increased only marginally from the 2016-2019 period, rising from 21.5% to 24.8%. The union’s members of color nationally earned an average of 91.8% of what white members made per week.
“We are disappointed by the realities of the data: while there was some incremental progress here and there in 2020, the theatre fell far short of fulfilling its promises of diverse and inclusive hiring,” said Kate Shindle, president of Equity, in a statement. “Equity has made it a top priority to combat inequality in the industry, but we cannot do this work alone. We call on everyone who makes hiring and pay decisions in the theatre to demonstrate their commitment through their actions as well as their words.”