Diversity FAQs

What Should I Do?

What should I do if I believe I have been discriminated against or sexually harassed?

If you believe that you are being, or have been, discriminated against or sexually harassed in any way, you should:

1. Call SAG-AFTRA. Everything is kept confidential!

Immediately report the conduct to the SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity Department by calling us directly in Los Angeles at (323) 549-6644 or New York (212) 827-1542 during business hours or call the SAG-AFTRA Complaint Hotline at (800) 724-0767 after hours.

2. TALK TO US.

Upon receipt of your call, EEO & Diversity staff will contact you to obtain basic information about the incident to determine the most appropriate course of action. Staff will also assist you in determining whether any immediate or emergency action needs to be taken, particularly if you believe you are in danger of possible physical harm or other serious injury.

3. WRITE TO US.

If there is no immediate threat, staff may ask you to fill out the Membership Discrimination & Harassment Complaint Questionnaire in order to gather more information.

4. OPEN AN OFFICIAL FILE.

Upon receipt of the questionnaire, staff will open an official file for the incident, which will be kept confidential unless you wish to continue to file a formal complaint.

5. FILE A COMPLAINT.

If staff deem it appropriate, SAG-AFTRA will provide notice to the employer/producer/agent/director of the member complaint via a formal written complaint. SAG-AFTRA will send a copy of our policy regarding discrimination and harassment along with a letter advising the producer, agent or executive of the complaint and requiring that the company investigate the complaint and take immediate action to remedy any inappropriate conduct.

Remember: Neither discrimination nor harassment is your fault. When you see or become a victim of discrimination or harassment, don’t ignore it and don’t pretend it did not happen. Every action you take against this behavior means it is less likely to be repeated. You have a responsibility to yourself and your fellow union members to see that all performers are treated with respect in the job search and in the workplace.

Are casting directors allowed to ask me about my age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation?

Absolutely not.

Casting directors are prohibited from asking such questions during the hiring process (unless there is a legal basis for their doing so, which is extremely rare). But the reality of the audition experience often includes such inquiries, and an actor may not want to appear uncooperative by not answering the question or by informing the casting director that he or she is not allowed to ask that question. More often than not, the casting director is not asking the question in order to exclude certain groups but, rather, to determine if you fit the character description.

Regardless of an actor wanting to avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation, and regardless of the casting director’s reasons for asking, actors should be aware that it is generally illegal to ask for this information.

So what should you do? Different people use different tactics when facing this situation. For example, playing it coy by saying “I can be whatever you want me to be.”  Or perhaps your best bet is to gently remind the casting director that he or she should not be asking you that question.   When asked their age, some actors provide their age range.

If they insist, you should feel comfortable telling them that they can call someone in the SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity office for clarification at (323) 549-6644 or (212) 827-1542. We will assist them in finding appropriate ways to obtain what they are looking for.  But remember, the bottom line is they are not allowed to ask, and therefore, you are under no obligation to answer.

Diversity Casting Showcase Submissions

FACT SHEET

SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity Department is pleased to present industry diversity casting showcase opportunities for members throughout the year. Most importantly, it is imperative that members read the instructions carefully and follow the submission directions provided in each showcase notice. The following is a list of tips that address the most frequently asked questions about diversity casting showcases.

Thank you.

  1. All qualified performers can submit, without regard to disability, race, age, color, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  2. Do not double submit if already submitted through another union or other entity (i.e. an agent or manager).
  3. Submissions will not be accepted before or after the submission period.
  4. Both union and non-union members can submit to most showcases.
  5. The information is being passed along to you as a courtesy only. SAG-AFTRA has no influence on the selection process, timeline and/or qualifications.
  6. If selected, you must be available to participate in auditions and rehearsals. If you don’t live nearby, you must be able to cover transportation costs, unless otherwise noted.
  7. Self-taped auditions are auditions that you can tape from anywhere. You then send in this footage either by uploading it to the website the directions indicated or by sending the footage to the address or email provided.
    a.  For more information about self-taped auditions, refer to the SAG Foundation’s “LifeRaft: How to Self-Tape Auditions: Part One – Production” (http://youtu.be/D79zOFTiLfs) & “LifeRaft: How to Self-Tape Auditions: Part Two - Post Production” (http://youtu.be/9umJNHgRVwk)
  8. If a submission notice requires an Actors Access (www.actorsaccess.com) account, you can email Actors Access in order to speak with a specialist who can answer your questions at info@actorsaccess.com or call their main line at (310) 385-6920.
  9. You are welcome to contact the EEO & Diversity Department with have any additional questions at diversity@sagaftra.org. Please read all of the directions and instructions provided in the notice carefully before contacting us. 

Thank you again!