Actors’ Equity Endorses SAG-AFTRA Merger

The merger of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is blessed by Actors Equity, which represents stage actors and managers

The Actors' Equity Association on Tuesday gave its blessing to the proposed merger between the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The Actors Equity Association is the labor union that represents live theater actors and stage managers, many of whom work on Broadway and Off-Broadway. 

Also read: SAG-AFTRA Merger Opponents Outline Their Concerns

According to a statement on the AEA website, the union's council unanimously voted to endorse the merger Tuesday.

“AEA strongly supports SAG and AFTRA in their proposal to merge their Unions,” the AEA said.

The endorsement is advisory, but some of the roughly 49,000 members of Actors Equity are also members of SAG and AFTRA

The proposed merger, which has yet to be voted on by the unions' members, has drawn some criticism.

Last week, a statement signed by Martin Sheen, Scott Bakula and others was circulated to members of both unions asking them to vote against the merger. The statement claimed that the merger will lead to a "bloated bureaucracy" that could lead to a conflict of interest.

The statement asked the union members to "demand that our union leaders conduct the necessary due diligence to create an agreement which will not harm actors."

For the merger to take effect, 60 percent of voting members at each union must approve the proposal. SAG has about 120,000 members and AFTRA roughly 90,000. Ballots are scheduled to go out February 27 and will be due back by March 30.