LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- More than 3,300 people, including some Hollywood celebrities, have signed an open letter urging U.S. entertainment industry to end gender pay bias.
According to the latest figures from the Action Network, an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes, a total of 3,382 signatures were collected as of Saturday morning. The goal of the movement is to collect 6,400 signatures.
The open letter endorsed by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 871 and some other groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Women's Law Center, Women in Film, Women in Media and so on, called on the industry to take a hard look at its pay and compensation practices above and below the line to make sure all productions meet the legal and moral requirement to pay fairly without discrimination.
"With pay equity and sexual harassment dominating the news, from the momentum of the #MeToo movement and the launch of TimesUp, to winning major concessions on closing the pay gap in state legislatures and corporate boardrooms, the time has come to take a hard look at how our industry compensates the many thousands of people who work below the line and insist on meaningful changes," said the letter.
A recent study commissioned by IATSE Local 871, a union representing over 2,500 production employees found that significant gender-based wage disparities continue to exist among workers in below-the-line occupations. The study identifies gender stereotyping, job segregation, and sexual harassment as factors contributing to gender pay inequality for below-the-line employees.
"It is time for real change. It is no longer acceptable for employees in traditionally female-dominated classifications - like Art Department Coordinators and Assistant Production Coordinators - to be stuck with low wages that oftentimes make it difficult to make ends meet, especially in expensive cities like Los Angeles. Nor is it acceptable that - despite the recent changes in state law aimed at closing the wage gap - women (and men) employed in other historically female crafts earn significantly less than their predominantly male counterparts, such as 2nd Second Assistant Directors, while performing substantially similar work," the letter added.
Two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda, "Crazy Rich Asians" producer Nina Jacobson, "Love, Simon" writer Isaac Aptaker and "Black Panther" cinematographer Rachel Morrison were among the Hollywood celebrities having signed the letter.