SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris elected President of the International Federation of Actors – Deadline
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris was elected President of the International Federation of Actors – the first American to hold the post. She was elected by the delegates attending the 22nd FIA World Congress.
Carteris succeeds Canadian actress Ferne Downey, who has served as its president since 2012. Founded in 1952, the FIA âârepresents artists’ unions, guilds and professional associations in some 65 countries whose members work in all registered media. and live theater.
âIt is a great honor for me to be elected president of the International Federation of Actors,â said Carteris. âFor nearly seventy years, the FIA ââhas been a leader and a fighter for players around the world. The FIA ââhas worked tirelessly to make stages, sets and studios more diverse and fair, in addition to creating a culture of respect and responsibility in the entertainment, media and performing arts industry that transcends international borders. I am grateful to Ferne Downey for her leadership as President over the past nine years, and look forward to working with my FIA colleagues in the years to come.
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âGabrielle has spent her entire career in the entertainment industry, whether as an actor herself or championing workers in her role as President of SAG-AFTRA, and I have no doubts that she will be a fantastic president of the International Federation of Actors, âsaid FIA General Secretary Dominick Luquer. âWe must continue our essential work to expand collective bargaining protections and make the entertainment industry more inclusive, more supportive and safer for workers around the world. It is clear that Gabrielle has a deep commitment to protecting every worker in our industry, and I am so proud and grateful to welcome her as President of the FIA.
Carteris was first elected President of SAG-AFTRA in April 2016, and previously served as Executive Vice President from 2013-2016. She is the Chair of the Union’s National Television / Theater Contracts Negotiating Committee and leads the President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach and Engagement.
She is also vice-chair of the AFL-CIO executive board, where she co-leads a working group on sexual harassment, and is commissioner of the Industry Commission on Sexual Harassment and the Promotion of Equality on work place. She is also sector manager of the Commission on the Future of Work of the AFL-CIO; sits on the board of directors of the Solidarity Center, the AFL-CIO’s global union organizing and workers’ rights group; and is the founding ambassador of ReFrame, an initiative that seeks to alleviate bias during the decision-making and creative hiring process.
Here are Carteris’ remarks to the FIA ââCongress:
I want to thank you all for your support – I am honored by this body and honored to be your FIA President. It has been an amazing convention – we started out aspiring to be together and although we are not in the same space, an incredibly wonderful job has been established.
I want to take a moment to recognize Ferne and his unwavering leadership. You have done so much for performers in Canada and around the world – you have made an incredible difference. I have known you for many years now – and you have always been a source of inspiration and support. You may be resigning as FIA President, but we will not be allowed to leave – I will ask for your wisdom and support.
I also want to say to the members of the FIA ââPresidium and Executive: I have worked with many of you for some time. Some of you are moving forward – thank you for your service – you will be missed. Some of you are newly elected – welcome! I look forward to working together.
With the support – as Ferne likes to say – of the Mighty Secretariat – expertly led by Dominick – and its partnership with Durhbal and Anouk – this organization has grown and empowered hundreds of thousands of workers around the world. Be proud. And of course I want to thank my colleagues at SAG-AFTRA – my elected colleagues, Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon and Secretary-Treasurer Camryn Manheim and our staff leaders – especially David White, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, Ray Rodriguez, John McGuire and Pamela Greenwalt – your commitment to our members, to live performance, entertainment and media professionals around the world – to working as a wholeâ¦ I could never be more proud – your support means world for me.
What I learned from this organization has elevated – it still is – Your commitment as leaders – your innovation and your desire to make artists’ lives richer – It empowers.
No matter where in the world FIA members live, no matter what policy we adopt, no matter our gender, age or origin, it’s clear – we all share the same basic desires: to be seen and heard. To be treated with respect and dignity. To have a place where we belong. as a world federation which is the mission and the first principle of FIA – to ensure that unity, solidarity and workers’ rights live, breathe and prosper across all borders. Our world is smaller than ever
We’ve talked a lot about the pandemic and its effect on our work – and even as we go through this time, I imagine we will be impacted by it in the years to come. What we will need to do regarding mental health support not only for our members, but also for us as leaders – this will need to be discussed and worked on. There has been incredible havoc for all of us this year – especially the live performances. The first to close and sadly among the last to reopen – Rebuilding this vibrant and vibrant global live performance industry is a must.
Even with the challenges we face, I have high hopes. I am hopeful because with these challenges there are great opportunities. The collaboration this pandemic has sparked within our industry has highlighted how much better we can be when we are truly aligned. Sharing information, solving problems, only brings out the most significant truth – we can’t do it alone.
This is why we are here and we reach out to each other – we recognize that we work for the same employers – that we live in a world where union support has increased among our citizens and at the same time the governments of the world whole seek to break us – to weaken our collective voice. So when Dominick talks about the work underway to ratify the Peking Treaty and ensure its strength goes forward, we need to step in and do whatever we can to make it a reality. Intellectual property rights must be defended. Our image rights must be established. As artists, who we are is our only product – our work – our images – must be protected. As President of the FIA, I am committed to achieving this. Technology is developing in a way that we must face, embrace, and help lead.
The vast amount of emerging technologies that reproduce our images, voices and performances must be understood so that we can protect artists by helping them thrive and not barely survive.
And with all of this, we mustn’t lose sight of the protections our members need when working on stage, in studios and on sets – whether it’s tackling sexual harassment, assault, bullying or discrimination – indeed, we have just started the real journey to end the systemic issues that plagued our members in every country and union. It’s exciting – because if that’s how we start – imagine where we can go?
I would like to leave you with this: we stay together until the end. United in their goals. I see you – I hear you and I support you. Because I am you. And together we can, we will, we must.