NEW YORK - Hundreds of actors and members of the theater community are "blacking out" Broadway to protest what they call the industry's long-standing history of racism, abuse, and inequity.
"If this is the beginning of what it's going to take to make sure that we are heard, then obviously we're here to make sure that happens," actress Eden Espinosa told FOX 5 NY.
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The protesters marched from Columbus Circle all the way to Washington Square Park on Thursday. They say the show will not go on until they feel safe both on stage and behind the scenes. They released a list of six demands.
The first is to have Scott Rudin removed from the Broadway League. The disgraced producer told the Washington Post last week that he is stepping back from his Broadway productions after being accused of intimidating and bullying employees for decades.
"I do not feel in a safe environment knowing that if I get in a Scott Rudin show, I have to sign a non-disclosure agreement," Nattalyee Randall, who helped organize Thursday's march, said. "And if he abuses me or something happens, I can't say anything because I'll have legal action come against me."
Performers are asking for a full list of organizations that the Actor's Equity Association is working with to support people of color as well as more transparency about how policies are implemented.
In addition, they want to know what percentage of their 2020 dues are being used to fuel conversations about diversity.
Members of Broadway's LGBTQ community and artists with disabilities are also calling for more inclusion.
FOX 5 NY reached out to the Actor's Equity Association and the Broadway League for comment but neither could provide us with an official statement at this time.