Rhonda O’Neal, an Emmy-nominated hairstylist and founder of Beyond the Combs Academy, says there is a growing consensus among unions such as SAG-AFTRA and IATSE that it’s imperative to expand the pool of hairstylists and makeup artists who are proficient in working with diverse skin tones and hair types. “This [agreement] ensures that productions are well-prepared with the necessary products and equipment and, if needed, qualified personnel. Performers are also entitled to compensation for their time spent in such services. These changes promise a more inclusive and accommodating experience for performers during productions.”
Ideally, O’Neal adds, qualified professionals should be in the trailer from the start so the performer doesn’t have to obtain the services themselves “because it’s more tiring for the performer to have to seek outside services while shooting.”
Additional language in the “Hair and Makeup” subsection appears to address that concern. The agreement promises that AMTPT will meet with IATSE in an effort to add to the pool of hairstylists and makeup artists who are qualified to work with people of all races and ethnicities. The parties will also recommend to that the Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund (IACF) funds the training necessary to work with all hair textures and skin tones.
The deadline for the agreement to be ratified is December 5, and it will affect a broad number of issues important to actors, including residuals, casting, stunt coordination, and more. But understandably, IATSE hairstylists and makeup artists are especially eager to see this section — and more — come to fruition.
“The agreement is a step in the right direction, and we hope beauty professionals are able to get credit for the looks they create, too,” Hunter says. “Textured hair and darker complexions are now a priority in Hollywood, and it is amazing to be a part of this historic moment.”
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