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courtney b. vance named sag-aftra foundation president

November 6, 2019
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Emmy-winning actor (and husband of Angela Bassett) Courtney B. Vance is shaking up the entertainment industry. Today is was announced that Vance has been appointed the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s new president. SAG-AFTRA or the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is the entertainment industry union that represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a $6 million budget that provides resources to the union’s members including emergency health services, financial assistance, business education, and more.

Succeeding outgoing president JoBeth Williams, Vance tells Variety in an exclusive, his plans for the next phase are to make the SAG-AFTRA Foundation “part of the industry fabric.” “There’s the union side to SAG-AFTRA, which handles the industry and negotiates health care and pensions. It is so necessary, but what happens to performers when they’re on the way up, or on the way down? Who is there for you?” says Vance. “When you start to hear about the cases of members in need, who have turned to our foundation and received this support, their lives change. And we want to keep changing lives.”

Vance believes that the foundation can do more to support SAG-AFTRA members and points to the music industry as an example, “Look at the Recording Academy and MusiCares. Everyone knows that MusiCares supports recording artists, and it does incredible work providing life support,” he says. “We’re moving to set that up, to help in all aspects of the performer’s life.”

Courtney B. Vance is currently working on J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele’s Lovecraft Country for HBO.