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SAG-AFTRA Urges Senate To Pass Crown Act Barring Discrimination Based On Hair Style Or Texture

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SAG-AFTRA is urging Congress to pass the federal Crown Act, designed to prevent unfair workplace treatment of people of color based on hair style or texture.

In what it describes as a strongly-worded statement signed by dozens of performers including Kerry Washington, Zoë Kravitz, Rosario Dawson, Don Cheadle, Niecy Nash-Betts, the entertainment and media union says that discrimination based on hair style or texture “is a destructive practice that has alienated and caused irreparable harm to Black Americans.” “The Crown Act is a huge step in ending discrimination based on hair in public education and work spaces,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. “People should feel free to style their hair how they feel most comfortable without the threat of prejudice and unequal treatment.” Drescher added that “there is still more work to be done to ensure private institutions adopt the protections the Crown Act provides.” The Act prohibits discrimination based on a person’s hair texture for all federally- assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment, and “is consistent with SAG-AFTRA’s efforts to advance equity and inclusion in the media and entertainment industry,” the union states.

The statement of support was recommended by the SAG-AFTRA Hair and Makeup Equity Work Group, which includes Yvette Nicole Brown, Tiffany Yvonne Cox, Michelle Hurd, Ezra Knight, Linda Powell and Sheryl Lee Ralph. “When you work in an industry where you can be hired – or not hired – largely on how you look, you become acutely aware of how damaging it can be to discriminate against someone based on something as extraneous as how they wear their hair,” said chair Jason George. “We’ve made strides in our own industry,

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