Patti LuPone Quits Actors’ Equity Union, Calls the Organization Nothing More Than ‘Circus’

The ‘American Horror Story’ actress has decided to give up her Actors’ Equity Association membership because she doesn’t feel supported by the organization.

AceShowbizPatti LuPone has labeled the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) the “worst union.” After announcing earlier this week that she is leaving the organization after being a member for five decades, the 73-year-old actress claimed they have no idea who she is.

“They accepted my resignation and told me that if I ever wanted to rejoin, I’d have to be approved,” the “American Horror Story” star told People magazine.

“And it’s the perfect reason I withdrew from Equity. Fifty years to this year … I’ve been a card-carrying member of Equity, and they don’t know who I am basically,” LuPone continues. “They just said, ‘Fine, but if you want to rejoin, we’re going to have to approve you.’ “

Patti insisted the union doesn’t “support actors at all.” She added, “They’re just not good. And I just didn’t want to give them any more money.”

The Tony Award-winning star – who infamously stopped a production of “Gypsy” she was starring in in 2009 when an audience member was on their phone – quit the union after growing frustrated seeing her name “bandied about” in connection to a more recent incident that she had no connection to, which saw an audience member at “Hadestown” reprimanded for using a captioning device.

She said, “I just thought, ‘This is ridiculous.’ And I don’t know when I’m going to be back on stage.”

While many thought the move would mean Patti’s stage career is over, some productions grant guest contracts so she’d still be able to perform, as well as taking part in concert productions and cabarets.

She said, “But then the best kept secret is that you can perform without being a member of Equity. Nobody knows that, so I don’t use their services. So, I’m not a member of Equity anymore.”

But the “Evita” star would also prefer to work more in film and TV. She added, “I don’t think I will be doing eight shows a week ever again. Not that I can’t, because that’s what I’m built for. I don’t want to.”

She previously tweeted, “Quite a week on Broadway, seeing my name being bandied about. Gave up my Equity card; no longer part of that circus. Figure it out.”

She announced exit from AEA after starring in a production of Stephen Sondheim musical “Company” and warned she would not be on stage for a “very long time.” In a statement, she said, “When the run of Company ended this past July, I knew I wouldn’t be on stage for a very long time. And at that point I made the decision to resign from Equity.”

Her comments come just days after the alleged incident at “Hadestown” – which Patti is not involved in – after which deaf audience member Samantha Coleman alleged that actress Lillias White mistakenly believed she was recording the show.

In a video posted to Instagram, she said, “I was sitting in the front row of ‘Hadestown’ tonight and Lillias White not once but twice at least reprimanded me from the stage because she thought my captioning device was a recording device. For Lillias, because I don’t think this is inherently her malice, I think it’s a misunderstanding, but we still need to talk about it.”

“There is a systemic issue in the theatre community and the theatre industry specifically with Broadway about accessibility and inclusion, and some of that has been changed by the creation of technology like captioning devices so that people can be able to experience a show that may not have been able to before.”

Source: Read Full Article