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March On Broadway Protesters Call For Greater Industry Inclusion & Diversity, Scott Rudin Ouster – Update

Greg Evans
·4-min read

UPDATE, with social media photos Protesters and organizers of today’s March on Broadway are sharing photos of the event, which started at 1 pm ET at Columbus Circle in Manhattan and has proceeded to Times Square and the theater district.

The march, a grassroots event calling for, among other demands, the ouster of Scott Rudin from the Broadway League as well as for greater Broadway representation and inclusion of BIPOC, trans, disabled and other communities, has drawn a crowd estimated by local news radio station 1010 Wins at more than 350 participants. (See the entire list of demands below.)

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“Times Square is full again,” tweeted one marcher.

Here is a sampling of Twitter posts shared today during the march:

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PREVIOUS, Monday The organizers of this week’s March on Broadway: Broadway Fights Back event protesting racism and inequality in the theater industry have released a list of six demands, including calls for action involving stage and film producer Scott Rudin, Actors’ Equity Association and the Broadway League.

“We do not want this to be actors vs the union,” said organizers Nattalyee Randall and Courtney Daniels in a statement, “we DO want the union to do its job and keep us safe.”

The protest march is set to begin Thursday, April 22 at 1 p.m. ET in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle. Speakers scheduled to address participants include actors Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Ryan Vasquez (Hamilton, Waitress), Diamond Essence White (Dear Evan Hansen), Ashley De La Rosa (Mean Girls), Jaime Cepero (Smash) and actor Brandon Michael Nase, who founded Broadway for Racial Justice, among others.

Topping the list of demands is a call for the Broadway League – the trade organization of theater owners and producers – to remove Rudin from its ranks, or, as an alternative, for Rudin to donate a “large sum of money” to 20 BIPOC-run theaters.

In addition, organizers said, the activists are calling on Equity to disclose a list of organizations that the union “is working with to help Black, Indigenous, and POC feel safer,” and a “full report of how the 2020 Equity dues were spent and what percentage is being spent to help conversations around diversity.”

See the full list of demands below.

Deadline has reached out to Actors’ Equity and the Broadway League. Rudin’s office had no comment.

The statement released by the March on Broadway organizers today lists the following:

“The Demands:

“1. Scott Rudin to be removed from the Broadway League – If he is not removed from the Broadway League, we want restoration. We want Scott to publicly choose 20 BIPOC run theatres and donate a LARGE SUM of money to them.

“2. A full list of organizations that AEA is working with to help Black, Indigenous, and POC feel safer.

“3. A full report of how the 2020 Equity dues were spent and what percentage is being spent to help conversations around diversity.

“4. Achieve greater inclusion for trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming artists.

“5. We want visibility on how the national council votes for policies. We also want efforts to improve diversity within the council.

“6. We want to achieve greater inclusion for artists with visible and nonvisible differing abilities.”

Over the past weekend, Rudin announced that he would “step back” from active participation in his theater productions, which include Broadway’s To Kill a Mockingbird, The Book of Mormon, West Side Story and the upcoming The Music Man, in response to a Hollywood Reporter article on allegations of workplace abuse. The Music Man costar Sutton Foster yesterday called Rudin’s decision a “positive outcome.”

Also over the weekend, Equity called on Rudin to release employees from non-disclosure agreements, a move subsequently supported by the Time’s Up Foundation.

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