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MR. PRESIDENT: Courtney B. Vance Was Just Named President Of SAG-AFTRA Foundation!

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Actors, directors and Hollywood industry workers who are part of the SAG AFTRA union have complained for years about improper representation and problematic admission policies that can negatively affect projects and actors themselves. Now, screen king Courtney B. Vance is taking over the Foundation portion to help change the landscape.


More inside!

This is a BIG deal. Tony & Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance was just appointed as President of SAG-AFTRA Foundation (what the Screen Actors Guild Awards are spurned from), and will be taking over this week as current President JoBeth Williams retires after 10 years in the position. 

“The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a vital organization and it is a privilege to shine a light on it in my new role as President. My parents raised us to be helpers and just as there are no small roles, there are no small jobs. This is an opportunity to help people and educate artists who are the backbone of our industry,” said Vance. “JoBeth set a high bar and I look forward to building upon her legacy with our new Entertainment Industry Council and our Actors’ Council. Together, we will raise increased funding for our assistance and scholarship funds, and continue creating more robust, free programs for our artists. I can’t wait to get started.”

 photo CourtneyBVance68thAnnualPrimetimeEmmyHsRGJHBr1FEl_zps5lpitzfi.jpg The SAG-AFTRA Foundation's purpose is to prepare performers for success, so it can only help those actors with lesser resources but equal (or better) talent than others get onto a level playing field. According to the press release, The Foundation provides free audition preparation classes with prominent casting professionals, voiceover studios with one-on-one time with engineers, on-camera audition taping, a comprehensive video archive of actors discussing the craft, and panels on the business side of acting. These classes allow actors to get hands-on, practical training on everything from the auditioning process to running your own business and keeping current with industry trends.

The SAG nominated actor (for his performance as Johnnie Cochran in FX's "The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story") will kick off his tenure with the launch of the Foundation’s first ever Entertainment Industry Council (EIC), which will advise the Foundation on its work to support performers in all stages of their career. The Council will function in partnership with the Foundation’s Actors Council, whose members serve as important advisors and supporters with expertise.

His wife, Angela Bassett, is all the way on board too. 

Courtney told Variety she gave him her seal of approval:

“‘You love a project’ is what she said to me. But at the same time, she said, ‘What an honor and a responsibility’ — to rise to the occasion and take over a leadership position.”

“Our children are teenagers now,” Vance adds, “so it’s time to step up.”

Courtney will takeover starting Thursday, November 7th at the organization’s 4th Annual Patron of the Artists Awards honoring Ava DuVernay, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo and more at L.A.'s Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.


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Next up for Courtney: He's starring in the upcoming HBO drama horror series "Lovecraft Country."  He wrapped production on Uncorked, a Netflix film inspired by the family of Prentice Penny, "Insecure" EP and showrunner, with Niecy Nash and Mamoudou Athie. Also, he recently joined the cast of the Universal/Will Packer romantic drama, The Photograph, with Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, directed by Stella Meghie.

We love when actors make moves to make their business better for those coming behind them.  Fab!

Congrats Courtney!


Photos: Pacific Coast News/Zimbio

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