Irish Equity to complain to RTÉ concerning use of non-professional actors

Irish Equity intends to lodge a formal complaint with RTÉ concerning television productions use of non-professional actors.

SIPTU Arts and Culture Sector Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin, said: “Irish Equity has expressed exasperation at the continuing debate concerning the employment of non-professional actors on professional productions in the Republic of Ireland.

“With only a limited amount of work for actors, Irish Equity believes there is no reason for any producer to hire amateur actors when the professional standard in is so high. It appears that the profession of acting is just not taken seriously.

“On foot of numerous complaints and objections from actors, Irish Equity, has decided that actors’ opinions on this issue must be heard. Actors have been particularly offended by the Garda Commissioner’s recent remarks about acting as a ‘suitable hobby’ without any reference to the fact that there are several thousand people who seek to make their living through this profession.”

Karan O’Loughlin added: “We are dismayed about the lack of understanding of the acting profession and the fact that two to three years of full time training and education is required to become qualified.

“It is bad enough that actors trying to make a living have to contend with the employment of non-professional actors on productions, most of whom already have permanent jobs, but to see the profession of acting dismissed as a suitable hobby is just a bridge too far for most. Every employed person taking a professional acting job is keeping a professional actor on the dole.

“In the case of RTÉ it is felt that the use of public money to supplement or enhance a permanently employed persons salary is just not on when there is so little work to go around for full-time actors. We expect a better standard from the producers and the funders of professional productions.”