First Meeting of Hollywood Division held February 20, 2007
First Meeting of New York Division scheduled for April 11, 2007
Los Angeles (March 15, 2007)—Screen Actors Guild has formed a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Actors Caucus to provide support to LGBT actors and to educate the SAG membership, industry and public on LGBT actors’ issues, as well as to work towards ending discrimination against LGBT actors in the workplace.
The SAG LGBT Actors Caucus, chaired by actor-comedian and SAG member, Jason Stuart, held its first Hollywood Division meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, from 7–9 p.m. in the James Cagney Boardroom at Guild headquarters.
The Hollywood Division meeting was hosted by Stuart, Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee National Chair Sumi Haru, National Board Member Anne-Marie Johnson and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. Nearly 100 LGBT SAG members and their allies attended the meeting, and heard from a panel of accomplished members including George Takei, Alexis Arquette and J. Karen Thomas.
"All I ever wanted to do was act. For me, being out is part of who I am – as is acting – and this meeting is the culmination of a personal desire to provide LGBT SAG members with a platform to share their issues and to seek and gain the support of their colleagues," said Caucus Chair Jason Stuart, a key force behind the effort to establish an LGBT voice at the Guild.
"I was proud to be a part of this historic first meeting of the SAG LGBT Actors Caucus. The Caucus is undertaking an important mission – to help actors feel free to be open and honest about who they are, without fear of reprisal or career damage," said actor George Takei.
According to Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg, the formation of the LGBT Actors Caucus is an important effort. "Supporting members on the job and ending workplace discrimination are in keeping with the Guild’s mission to promote diversity, equality and dignity on the job for all actors," Rosenberg said. "And I am truly honored that such important work is being undertaken during my tenure as president."
When approached with the idea by Stuart, Rosenberg tapped SAG General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland to work with the Caucus. Crabtree-Ireland, the highest-ranking openly gay union executive in the entertainment industry, coordinated the historic first meeting of the caucus and serves as the Guild staff member responsible for its efforts.
"We are all looking forward to the upcoming meeting in New York. It’s crystal clear after the Hollywood meeting that this effort is important to our membership. Through active education, outreach and support for LGBT performers, the Guild has the power to help create change in the industry," Crabtree-Ireland said.
The New York meeting will be April 11, 2007, from 6–8 p.m. in the Leon Janney Boardroom at the Guild’s New York Division office. It will be hosted by Stuart, New York Division President Paul Christie, SAG National Board member Traci Godfrey, New York Executive Director Jae Je Simmons, and Crabtree-Ireland, and will continue the work of fully developing a program and timeline for Caucus efforts.
The New York meeting, like many caucuses and Guild events, is open only to members, officers, staff and invited guests of Screen Actors Guild. No media accommodations will be made.
Please call (323) 549-6872 for information on the New York LGBT Actors Caucus meeting or to schedule interviews with:
Alan Rosenberg, President, Screen Actors Guild
Jason Stuart, LGBT Caucus Chair and Screen Actors Guild Member
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, General Counsel, Screen Actors Guild
George Takei, Actor and Screen Actors Guild Member