LOS ANGELES (November 16, 2004) —Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today re-launched an enhanced and expanded online archive celebrating the Guild’s 71-year history and the evolution of the labor movement in the entertainment industry. Packed with historic images, photographs of rare artifacts and first-hand accounts of key moments in the Guild’s past, the archives offer an in-depth exploration of the entertainment industry, the American labor movement and the intersection of both through SAG. The archives can be found at www.sag.org.
“These archives are a treasure trove for all who have an interest in the history of our industry and the courage of working actors – many of whom put their careers on the line, so that all actors could step out from the shadow of the studio system into increasingly empowered roles,” said SAG National Executive Director/CEO Bob Pisano. “The Guild takes great pride in its enduring value to working actors, and we are pleased to celebrate this legacy with the general public through this online exhibition.”
Clicking through its voluminous pages, visitors can read first-hand accounts of critical moments in the Guild’s history, including the clandestine meetings of prominent actors seeking to organize the Guild in the 1930s and personal accounts of life under the old studio system from some of its greatest stars. The archives feature career sketches of all Guild presidents and decade-by-decade timelines of key Guild moments, complete with historic photographs, from the dark days of violent studio strikes and blacklisting into the modern era. Visitors can also learn more about more recent Guild milestones, such as global protections for performers, enhanced provisions for child actors and efforts to curb runaway production.
“Without question, this is a living history – one our members continue to add to through their involvement in the Guild today,” said Guild historian Valerie Yaros. “This exhibit invites us to take pride in the efforts and sacrifices that came before and to remember that important battles remain for working actors today. We hope this exhibit is a source not only of education, but also of inspiration.”
This online exhibit marks the Guild’s ambitious and continuing efforts to share SAG’s rich and important legacy with the general public. The Guild hopes the retrospective helps fill the knowledge gap for interested Guild members, researchers, writers, and the general public.
[Click here to view the archives]