In one of her last official acts as president of SAG-AFTRA, Gabrielle Carteris today presented Michelle Hurd with the SAG-AFTRA President’s Award for her outstanding commitment to the union’s membership and to the labor movement.
Hurd, who stars on the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Picard, is a national board member who’s running on Carteris’ Unite for Strength slate. Carteris, who also is running for a seat on the board, will wrap up her presidency after a new president – either Fran Drescher or Matthew Modine – is elected tonight.
“Michelle Hurd is a change-maker,” Carteris said. “She is a shining example of how to balance a successful acting career with dedicated union service and a commitment to improving the lives of SAG-AFTRA members and all workers. Michelle has led from the frontlines in our efforts to ensure the safety and protection of SAG-AFTRA members and to help eradicate sexual harassment from the entertainment industry. Additionally, she represented the organization before legislative bodies advocating for laws that support and empower members and all workers. Because of her efforts, Hollywood is a safer and better place. Our members are forever indebted to Michelle for her selfless commitment to the SAG-AFTRA mission and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the years ahead.”
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As a national board member, Hurd played a leading role in advancing efforts to remove sexual harassment and assault from the entertainment industry and make sets safer. As a member of the SAG-AFTRA President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Safety and the union’s sexual harassment workgroup, she worked to provide resources to members who experienced sexual harassment and assault, and assisted in developing updated guidelines and policies to eliminate harassment and assault in the industry. Her work led to the creation and development of the intimacy coordinator initiative and helped spur the creation of SAG-AFTRA Safe Place, a reporting platform that allows members to discreetly report incidents of sexual harassment.
Hurd’s early boardroom advocacy of the intimacy coordinator profession helped launch the union’s intimacy coordinator work group, which led to the development and release of the union’s standards and protocols for the employment of intimacy coordinators. In April, the union announced Phase II of the initiative, releasing intimacy coordinator standards for training and qualifications, and introducing a new registry system. When completed, the registry system aims to ensure a diverse pipeline of certified professionals dedicated to keeping actors safe. Intimacy coordinators are trained professionals who specialize in protecting actors during intimate or simulated sex scenes while fulfilling the director’s vision.
As part of her advocacy, she partnered with fellow actor Kate Rigg to create an actor-specific intimacy protection guide for members called “Sex, Nudity and You,” which was included in a special pull-out section of SAG-AFTRA Magazine and is available on the union’s website.
Hurd, who has been a mainstay on television for years, has appeared on Blindspot, Law & Order: SVU, Hawaii Five-O, Daredevil and many other shows.
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