Actors’ Equity Association Endorses Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris for Reelection

New York-- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, joins the other unions of the AFL-CIO in its endorsement for the 2024 presidential campaign, supporting President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for their second term.

“President Biden and Vice President Harris listened to Equity when our industry was in crisis, on issues like COVID relief and federal arts funding,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “But four years of a pro-worker administration is simply not enough to put labor laws back on the side of workers, safeguard our democracy and our climate, address systemic racism, protect gender identity and bodily autonomy and so much more. For those of us who aren’t members of the billionaire class, everything is on the line. We need to flip to a pro-worker House, increase our pro-worker margin in the Senate and return Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House.”

In 2020, Equity also endorsed Biden and Harris, citing Biden’s strong history of supporting workers’ rights, as well as his support on issues like LGBTQ rights and the fight for gun violence prevention. Since President Biden took office, funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has increased by $52 million along with $135 million in supplemental funding for the NEA/NEH.

His administration’s COVID relief was critical for countless arts workers. Important relief provisions included a temporary COBRA health insurance subsidy, supporting pandemic unemployment insurance that was vital for the unique employment structure of arts workers and allowing labor unions access to PPP funds like most other businesses. His American Rescue Plan expanded financial assistance to Americans enrolling in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, a critical need for many Equity members during the shutdown of the industry during COVID. Biden has also voiced support for the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, a yearslong Equity campaign.

“Only with President Biden taking a second term do we have a real chance of passing the PRO Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the restoration of the Voting Rights Act,” said Al Vincent, Jr., executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “Everything is on the line this election, and I look forward to the union making a historic push to get President Biden and Vice President Harris across the finish line.” 

Since the 2020 election, Actors’ Equity Association has worked to build more political power for union members by forming a political action committee, expanding the union’s use of political endorsements and sending union members to turn out union voters in battleground states. 

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. #EquityWorks

June 16, 2023