Actors’ Equity Association applauds House passage of CROWN Act

The Actors’ Equity Association released the following statement in response to the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act passed in the House of Representatives. Thanks to the leadership of Congressmen Bonnie Watson Coleman, Barbara Lee, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Gwen Moore, who introduced this bill, it will now go to the vote in the Senate.

“Equity strongly agrees that hair texture is a protected racial characteristic, and it’s time for federal law to recognize that,” said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association. “This law affirms that negligence or penalization of a worker because of the natural texture of their hair is racist and illegal. We are asking for an expeditious passage in the Senate.”

Background: Last year, Equity and other arts and entertainment unions presented a federal policy agenda for inclusion in the arts. The federal government’s passage of the CROWN Act was a crucial item on that list.

Also last year, Equity’s board approved the “Hair Texture as a Protected Feature” resolution, which directs Equity to bring “hair texture” to the protected features in the anti-discrimination clause of all future negotiations.

THE ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the American union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and managers. Equity strives to advance the careers of its members by negotiating salaries, improving working conditions and offering a wide range of benefits (including health and retirement). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks

Andrew B. Reiter