The IATSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 2116, the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, legislation that will help end race-based hair discrimination and is a component of our shared Policy Agenda for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries. Prior to today’s passage, a version of the CROWN Act has passed in 14 states and 34 state municipalities (more than half of these were in states where that state’s legislative bodies did not pass the act) in the United States beginning with California in July 2019.
Our committee speaks consistently about removing obstacles to upward movement for BIPOC members of the IATSE. Enacting this legislation makes it clear that the way in which a person’s hair grows or is worn does not denote anything about their ability to perform the job they are hired to do. Our Committee also realizes that enacting a law does not change attitudes and culture overnight, but it does provide a legal avenue to seek justice when your appearance is weaponized against you.
Federal laws such as The CROWN Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, & The Fair Housing Act of 1968 also serve to bring wider attention to issues for some voters who may not be aware of the deep reach of discrimination in our modern world.
We urge the Senate to bring up this overdue legislation for a vote without delay.
― IATSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee