Features

L.A. Plaintiffs’ Response to Union’s Motion to Dismiss

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In the latest of the legal battle shaping up between a group of Los Angeles actors who are suing their own union, Actors’ Equity Association, comes the official legal response to Equity’s Motion to Dismiss their lawsuit.  The 34-page document, submitted to the court, is a point-for-point rebuttal of Equity’s motion filed on July 21, 2016. These volleys back and forth make clear this legal ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Layman Looks at Equity’s Motion to Dismiss

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Back in October 2015, when a group of LA actors served a lawsuit on their own Union, Actors’ Equity, veteran actor and scholar Dakin Matthews was there to give a layman’s analysis of the legal text.  Now that Equity has filed a motion to dismiss the case, Dakin is back to scrutinize the new document: Again, I’m not a lawyer or a judge, and I ...

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When Intelligence is Artificial

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If you follow the popular tech press, it’s likely you’ve seen a number of stories about artificial intelligence.  The term “artificial intelligence” is somewhat loosely defined.  It fits under the category of “we’ll know it when we see it.” The mathematician Alan Turing defined artificial intelligence as an “imitation game.”  If a human couldn’t tell if the origin of the responses on the other side ...

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The Meaning of Actors’ Equity’s Motion to Dismiss LA Lawsuit

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Following the LA actors serving a lawsuit on their union (Actor’s Equity), the Union has countered with a motion to dismiss that lawsuit.  The complete text of the motion can be found here in PDF format.  (It’s a 45 MB file.  A lighter, text-version of the primary document appears below.) Lawsuits are often about the rules of the conflict – and how they apply to ...

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UPDATED: 99-Seat Plan to Equity Contract – The Data

updated data database

Footlights originally published this letter from actress and producer Vanessa Stewart on March 25, 2016. Vanessa has since updated her database making it even more accurate and a more valuable tool for the theater community. She explains her update in an addendum which follows her original letter below: I just spent about a year of researching 99-Seat productions that moved to contracts. And here’s what ...

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Garry Marshall – Cultural Titan and Family Man

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If you are of a certain age, your cultural life was dominated by Garry Marshall’s touch.  The Odd Couple. Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley. Mork & Mindy. Pretty Woman. The Princess Diaries.  He helped Ron Howard get cast in his first film (George Lucas’ American Graffiti) and directed Jackie Gleason in his last (Nothing in Common  with Tom Hanks). And these are just a few ...

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This Is a True L.A. Story: ‘Recorded In Hollywood’

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Dolphin’s of Hollywood was not just a record store with a DJ or an iconic music gathering place for rebellious teens during a time of segregation in Los Angeles. For many people who traveled to the original Central Avenue shop, sometimes even secretly, it was a home. Legendary owner and music producer John Dolphin opened his doors to all ethnicities. By doing so he opened ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Whimsical Look at Equity’s Hypothetical

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From veteran actor and scholar Dakin Matthews who is currently appearing on Broadway in Waitress: In a recent letter to the membership – I assume I was not the only person who got it – an AEA press release (“The Actual Facts”) quoted Mary McColl as comparing Los Angeles to a number of other major American cities in order to “look at the facts.” Being ...

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Equity Work Week Numbers by the Numbers

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Actors’ Equity Association has repeatedly expressed concern that the Los Angeles 99-Seat Plan has impeded paid opportunities for actors in the region. Equity President Kate Shindle made remarks along these lines in March of this year: …the idea that a mid-sized theater could open at this point, or even a smallish theater, could open at this point in Los Angeles when they had to compete ...

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UPDATED: Dealing with Facts

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As if their press release earlier in the week wasn’t enough, Actor’s Equity has distributed another  press release today in a reaction to the Plaintiffs’ Statement published yesterday.  Some context and analysis follow after the Union’s official statement: Actors’ Equity Association Executive Director Mary McColl issued the following statement: Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) remains disappointed that the facilitated discussions with the plaintiffs in the Asner ...

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