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Letter of Support from the Screen Actors Guild

Screen Actors Guild logo

February 17, 2003

Dear Fellow Americans:

Affirmative Action is a concept that was established 40 years ago, when Assistant Secretary of Labor Arthur Fletcher in the Nixon Administration issued what is now popularly referred to as the “Philadelphia Plan.” Since then, every American President has supported Affirmative Action as a fair access admissions and employment plan for all Americans — regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age or physical ability.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is no less committed. Through our National Affirmative Action/Diversity Office, we constantly encourage members of our industry — whether they are producers, directors or writers — to make every effort to reflect the diversity of the world we live in as they present their product to the American and world public. We, also, proudly voluntarily promote affirmative action concepts in our Guild’s hiring and promotion practices.

We recognize that the images we present on the nation’s television sets and in the movie houses — will be forerunners for the diverse communities that are daily becoming reality.

We also agree with Americans for a Fair Chance, the University of Michigan and the American Council on Education that in order to reach Martin Luther King’s dream of a widely diverse American society, we must look at race today as one of many factors in determining admissions and employment.

We wholeheartedly agree with the growing number of Fortune 500 companies, the military academies and former Presidents Nixon and Ford — that if we don’t succeed in being a diverse nation, we will never maintain our economic and moral world leadership. We at the Screen Actors Guild stand ready to assist you in this endeavor.


Melissa Gilbert, President
Screen Actors Guild
Los Angeles, CA

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