Local USA 829, IATSE has sent a letter to the editors of The New York Times protesting the decision to cease listing designer credits in the web and print versions of their theatrical reviews. The Union encourages all its members and other interested parties to do the same. The Union has provided a sample letter below.
Emails and letters may be sent to the following:
The New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Sample Text of Email or Letter to the NY Times
I am writing at this time to protest your decision to eliminate the listing of credits from the reviews of theatrical productions.
That small box at the end of each review is extremely important to many of us, theatregoers and professionals alike. Not only did the credit box provide basic information about the location and dates for the production, but it also provided your readers with basic information of who worked to create the show: the author, cast, designers, director, and other key creative personnel. The vast majority of people who contribute to any production work behind the scenes, and by eliminating their credits, you have taken away the minimal recognition that these important workers receive.
In other areas, the NY Times seems to adhere to the philosophy “give credit where credit is due," but abandon it here. The contributors to an article or editorial in the NY Times are always listed; a photograph on your website always credits the photographer or source. Why then is it acceptable to ignore the contributors to a live theatrical production? This is especially dismissive in a city such as NYC where the performing arts are such a vital part of the economy and our daily life.
Broadway alone contributes nearly $12 billion to the economy of NYC in addition to the ticket sales, and 87,000 local jobs. It is considered one of NYC’s greatest tourist destinations with 6.7 million tickets bought by tourists during the 2014-15 season alone. The artists who create the product that drives this economic engine deserve recognition.
I urge you to reconsider your decision and restore the credit box at the end of each review.