Author: Emily

Patti Smith: The New York Times’s “Fine” Statement

Patti Smith: The New York Times’s “Fine” Statement

Patti LuPone Says She Resigned From Stage Actors’ Union

Patti LuPone has been performing with the Broadway theater actors’ union, the Actors Equity Association, since the 1980s. In an interview published in the June 17 issue of The New York Times, she said that, in 1990, she resigned from the union for reasons that are now being scrutinized as to whether they may have influenced the way she was hired and evaluated by producers in the early 1990s. The article provides a lot of details about Patti’s relationship with the union, and how, at the time, she took the stand to tell everything she knew and everything she saw. As you would imagine, there were some details that the Times did not want printed. Patti’s recollection of what is discussed makes this case particularly interesting, and the questions raised by the paper are interesting.

The paper talks about how, as a child, Patti was told that she was funny and that she would become famous, and it then goes on to talk about how Patti had grown up with the expectation that, if she had a good audition, she would get hired by a big-time producer at that time, and the fact that she got her agent at the Actors Equity Association. When she did not get hired by a big time producer, Patti took it all in stride, and continued to audition, and got hired by smaller and smaller companies over time. She says that she did not resign from the union until she was finally made a full member by the union. Later, at a casting session, she said that she could not have gotten back on stage after the incident with the union.

From the Times:

The Times interviewed Patti, who made the statement on the record. She declined to speak to the newspaper on the record.

I have not seen the New York Times and, as a rule, I try not to do that. I have seen other articles, and they make some points that I, too, would like to make. But to date, none of them have taken this issue into consideration. So I said, “Fine.”


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