Los Angeles – July 7, 2017 – In 2015, Mena Arts Advocacy Coalition (MAAC) began challenging SAG-AFTRA on the subject of MENA (Middle Eastern North African) actors and the struggles they faced surrounding inclusion. This year, SAG-AFTRA leadership took the challenge all the way to the negotiating table during contract discussions with AMPTP and successfully negotiated re-drafting the SAG-AFTRA Casting Dating Report (CDR) in the producer contracts for the first time in 37 years to include Middle Eastern North Africa in its new tentative deal.
The recognition and inclusion in the new contracts alongside the previous categories listed (Caucasian, Latin American, African American, Asian American, and Native American/Pacific Islander) is a huge win for MENA communities. Providing support for MENA artists from SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP will help pave the way for potential increases in representation, and help lessen the often-seen stereotypical portrayal of MENA actors. MAAC and its advisory council vigorously applaud SAG-AFTRA leadership and the AMPTP for this inclusion.
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