Actor's Equity Union signs memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return to the parks

Aug 12, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday August 12, 2020 6:24pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Actor's Equity Union has this evening signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return to work at the Walt Disney World theme parks.

“We have been consistent that testing is an important part of ensuring a safe workplace for Equity performers, and today, I’m pleased to see that Disney World has agreed,” said Kate Shindle, President of Actors’ Equity Association. “With the news that Disney will make testing available for Equity performers and others in the park, I’m happy to announce that Equity’s executive committee has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return.”

According to Equity, on June 23, Disney announced plans to recall members for rehearsals the following week. On June 25 Equity made a public statement that actors need to be tested because actors cannot practice social distancing throughout their workday. The following day, on June 26, Walt Disney World rescinded all of its recall notices for Equity members.

Equity Cast Members make up a significant number of Walt Disney World's live entertainment performers, which include Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Festival of the Lion King and various castle shows. The return of those performers would pave the way for Disney to resume shows should it wish to do so.

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JohnDOct 26, 2020

Yep. I was there all last week. Most of the time, the PA announcement is from the familiar announcer you hear on buses. However, from time to time, I would hear the recording of a British woman making the same announcement. And don't think you won't hear it in Galaxy's Edge or Pandora to preserve theming. Nope. Announcements are park-wide.

wdwmagicOct 26, 2020

Yep these have a bit out for a couple of weeks now. They have definitely had to make it clear that it isn't optional.

Sweet ThingOct 26, 2020

I visited Animal Kingdom yesterday and noticed new signage and announcements stating that guests who do not follow the mask rules will be asked to leave. I did notice more cast members firmly asking guests to stop while eating, make sure their masks were covering their noses, or put their masks back on while taking photos. I spoke to a few cast members and every single one said they just want things to return to normal as quickly as possible and these rules are the only way. I witnessed a couple of cast get ignored by guests when enforcing the rules. Those cast members contacted their supervisors to give descriptions of those guests not complying. I can't remember ever seeing the company take a firm stand like this before.

Giss NericOct 18, 2020

I'm just kidding. It's all lies. I just wanted to switch the topic for a while.

GimpYancIentOct 17, 2020

Ok, so a guy wore a mask with some wording on it. He Wore A Mask properly! No one care's what was written on it.

drizgirlOct 17, 2020

You were about to report someone wearing a mask correctly?

LilofanOct 17, 2020

Easier to fire third party for a poor job.

LilofanOct 17, 2020

If third party crews get hurt on the job, Disney doesn't have to pick up their medical / injury costs. That could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more depending on the severity of the injury.

Giss NericOct 17, 2020

I saw a guy in Magic Kingdom recently with a custom made mask that says "WORN BY FORCE, NOT BY CHOICE." I kinda felt that he was trouble already. I'm was about to report it to a CM but decided to let it go since he's not doing anything wrong anyways. It's just a silent protest. I saw him two times after that while walking in Fantasyland and the other while in the queue at Big Thunder. In all fairness to him, he was wearing the mask and wearing it correctly at both times.

ElvisMickeyOct 16, 2020

You’re hilarious, Oswald Cobblepot 🙄

JoeCamelOct 16, 2020

Do not have to pay bennies as JohnD said and shifts liability to the third party if they are installed improperly

JohnDOct 16, 2020

Part time, no more than 29 hours. Don't have to pay benefits unlike full time CMs. Hourly rate is also probably less than for full time CMs also.

Goofnut1980Oct 16, 2020

How is this cheaper than having on staff maintenance crews perform the work?

MisterPenguinOct 16, 2020

That baby carriage is not allowed in WDW!!