Tyler Perry could face off against his nemeses once again: the Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.
According to Deadline, Perry is gearing up for his 11th play, Madea’s Farewell. For the production, Perry is looking to hire five non-union roles. But this flies in the face of Actors’ Equity, which represents its members by, as its website states, “negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.”
Back in 2015, according to another Deadline article, SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity boycotted Perry and his production Madea on the Run after Perry and producers never signed a union contract with Actors’ Equity. As a result, the union forbade its members from working on the production or risking disciplinary action. Equity also put Perry on its “Do Not Work” list and hasn’t removed him from that list.
Unfortunately, this is only the latest in Perry’s rough history with lack of compliance with labor unions. According to an IndieWire report by Tambay A. Obenson in 2015, Perry’s production studio was at the center of a 2008 “unfair labor practice complaint” by the Writers Guild of America West after Perry fired four Black writers who worked on his TV comedy House of Payne. It is reported that the firings were because the writers were looking for union representation. Perry also allegedly didn’t sign a WGA contract that would provide writers with pensions and health care plans. Perry’s attorneys said the firings were about the writer’s “quality of their work,” not because of labor union contracts.