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HomeNewsIATSE Urges Members to Vote, Endorses Joe Biden

IATSE Urges Members to Vote, Endorses Joe Biden


IATSESome interesting developments in our world with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) taking a clear stand and a stance on the upcoming Presidential Election, which will take place Tuesday, November 3. The union’s Twitter feed has gotten particularly political since the first series of Presidential debates on Tuesday night, September 28.

(Update: IATSE actually endorsed Joe Biden for President all the way back in May, so it was essentially reiterating its support for the Democratic candidate.)

It began innocently enough with a tweet commending the union stagehands in Cleveland who set things up for the debate:

But it didn’t take long for the political leanings of the IATSE (or whomever is running their Twitter account) to become clear with a number of straight-forward attacks on President Donald Trump and positive retweets by his rival, Joe Biden.

And then today, the account tweeted urging members to vote in the election.

Around the same time as that last tweet,  an Email went out to all IATSE members making the union’s stance clear on its feelings about the Presidential Election and why its endorsing Biden over Trump. It’s a little unclear if the union’s sentiments align with all or most of its members.

You can read the full letter below:

Sisters, Brothers, and Kin —

During the debates Tuesday, Donald Trump was asked if he would condemn White Supremacists and Radical Far-Right militia groups. He refused, instead telling one Violent Right Extremist Group (according to Trump’s own FBI), to “Stand back and stand by.” You can watch the video for yourself here.

As IATSE members, we all know the term “stand by” gets thrown around a lot on set and behind the scenes. We know what it means. Often times it’s a call and response, a call to ask someone to pause before carrying out the rest of the plan. A call to “stand by” demands a response, and that’s exactly what the President got. When Donald Trump failed to condemn White Supremacy during the Debate, he issued his call, and members of the group celebrated, proudly responding, “Standing by sir.”

However, in our work “stand by” can mean something else entirely — a warning. In motion picture and television production, “stand by” can be a warning that filming is about to begin. In theater, the phrase can be a warning that the curtain is about to rise and the show is about to start.

In addition to the obvious travesty of a sitting President failing to condemn White Supremacy in front of a live TV audience of millions, on a stage built by our own IATSE sisters and brothers, we are gravely concerned that Donald Trump’s directive emboldens the Violent Right and serves as a warning that Pro-Trump paramilitary groups are willing to cause more chaos and bloodshed to aid Trump’s desperate attempt to remain in power.

We can’t let it come to that. A landslide victory for Joe Biden this November would make it undeniably clear that the American people have chosen our path, and hopefully, this clarity will bring far-right extremists to stand down, rather than stand by.

Time is running out and deadlines are approaching as soon as next week, in some states. Click here to check your registration status, register to vote, and get information on vote by mail and in person in your state.

In solidarity,
IATSE Communications
Standing by…. to VOTE.

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