Ensuring that hair and makeup departments are inclusive in their ability to work effectively with actors of color will be explored during a virtual panel discussion next month hosted by the Producers Guild of America in collaboration with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the Gersh talent agency and Management 360. The panel, “Hair and Makeup Equity – Changing the Industry Standard,” is set for May 11.
“As Hollywood fights for equitable representation on screen, one historically large issue of production can no longer be ignored: the lack of proficient hair and makeup artists on set,” said Management 360 manager Genevieve Penn. “Hair and makeup departments that don’t serve every member of the cast at the same level are detrimental to both the talent and the production. Having hair and makeup artists who are not trained to work with all skin tones and hair textures can cause irreparable damage, undermine the actor’s sense of emotional and physical safety on set, lessen credibility and accuracy of the character/storytelling, and lead to additional costs for the production. Creating a safe and equitable environment on set is part of our duty of care as producers. And we can and must be extending that to the hiring decisions we make for the hair and makeup department, ensuring that whomever we hire has the skills to serve everyone.”
The panel will be moderated by producer and PGA member DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven, Breakthrough). Panelists will include Randy Sayer, business rep of the Make-Up & Hairstylists Guild, IATSE Local 706; Camille Friend, hair department head on numerous productions, including Black Panther, Tenet, Us, and Charlie’s Angels; writer-producer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Legacies), and Paul Garnes, head of physical production at ARRAY Filmworks.
“The Producers Guild is excited to work with the Gersh Agency, Management 360 and SAG-AFTRA Foundation to amplify the important role which producers can play in ensuring that there is diverse representation, not only in front of the camera and for the entire crew, but especially amongst the hair and makeup departments,” said Tonya Lewis Lee and Lori McCreary, chairs of PGA’s One Guild initiative, which supports inclusive membership, employment, content, and depictions. “Before hiring decisions are made, it is critically important for producers to be aware of the specific expertise needed and required for their on-set talent.”
“Our clients identified this issue as a critical nexus, deeply emblematic of the inequities they face in the industry as a whole, and we are determined to bring it to light and create change,” Management 360 and Gersh said in a statement.
“We are proud to serve a diverse community of SAG-AFTRA performers,” said Cyd Wilson, executive director of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. “It is critical our Foundation participate in this conversation alongside these industry leaders to help promote and ensure actors of color are provided with equitable and inclusive services on set, including highly skilled and trained hair and makeup artists, so they can give their best performances.”
Hair stylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson made Oscar history Sunday night when, along with makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera, when they became the first Black women to win Academy Awards for Best Makeup & Hairstyling for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
You can register to attend the discussion here.