LOS ANGELES – SAG-AFTRA today released the following statement regarding the demands made by a number of stunt professionals:
"SAG-AFTRA stands in solidarity with performers whose opportunities to work in stunt roles have been denied or limited because of bias against women, minorities and performers with disabilities. SAG-AFTRA has long recognized the difficulties faced by diverse performers seeking to establish themselves as stunt professionals and has bargained into our main television and film contract language that requires Producers and stunt coordinators to consider and endeavor to cast women, minorities and performers with disabilities for stunt roles. Our contract also explicitly addresses the practice of "painting down" and provides that this practice is "presumptively improper."
“While discriminatory intent is often difficult and sometimes even impossible to prove, that has not stopped SAG-AFTRA from investigating and interceding when instances of "wigging," "painting down" or other similar practices are reported to us. The specific complaint alleging that a SAG-AFTRA national board member has been engaged for a stunt doubling role in violation of these provisions and principles has only recently been brought to us. We are reviewing and will take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to enforce our contract. Our focus is on holding Producers accountable for their responsibilities under the collective bargaining agreement. The responsibility to hire fairly and in compliance with our contract and the law lies with the stunt coordinator and ultimately the Producer.
“SAG-AFTRA is pleased to see performers advocate for fair hiring practices in the area of stunts and urge an open dialog on this subject and the possibility of deeper cooperation in the pursuit of this shared objective. We have great respect for the amazing work that our stunt performers and coordinators do to bring so many incredible action sequences to life and we respect their commitment to safety and excellence. We also believe, however, that more should be done to broaden access to this work, comply with the non-discrimination provisions of our contract and ensure that the American scene is depicted fairly and accurately, including when stunts are involved."