June 4, 2007, LOS ANGELES - The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and Writers Guilds of America, East and West jointly responded today to an Appeals Court decision overturning a new FCC policy on decency standards.
In a statement issued today by AFTRA, DGA, SAG, WGAE, and WGAW, all five guilds said: Actors, directors, writers and broadcast personnel are pleased that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected the FCC's effort to expand their authority and influence over creative content. The fines imposed have had a chilling effect on free expression over the airwaves. If allowed to stand, these fines would have subjected all programming to arbitrary claims of indecency without regard to context or type of programming. We are united in our opposition to this, or any other, FCC decision to overturn long-standing policy in this area, and replace it with arbitrary decision-making standards that tread on free speech.
In November, DGA, SAG and WGA East and WGA West joined a coalition of arts, filmmakers and free expression organizations in filing a friend-of-the-court amicus brief in support of Fox, NBC, and CBS. The amicus brief urged the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn an FCC ruling that applied new standards for censoring indecency and profanity to complaints received between 2002 and 2005.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society-from new culture to new technology - and incorporate change in their work and craft. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.
The Directors Guild of America was founded in 1936 to protect the economic and creative rights of directors. Over the years its membership has expanded to include the directorial team Ð Unit Production Managers, Assistant Directors, Technical Coordinators, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates. Today, through the collective voice of more than 13,000 members, the Guild seeks to protect the rights of directorial teams, to contend for their creative freedom and strengthen their ability to develop meaningful and lifelong careers in film, tape and digital media.
The Writers Guild of America, west (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. The unions conduct numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation's largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 working actors in film, television, industrials, commercials, video games, music videos and other new media. The Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO.