President's Message


My Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA, and I am thrilled to be able to write you today as president of FIA. I was elected during FIA’s 22nd World Congress, and I am proud to be the first American to fill the role.

Ours is truly a global industry, and the importance of an international federation such as FIA cannot be overstated. Actors and performers the world over — and indeed all workers — share many of the same concerns, and we can only effectively address those issues together.

I am pleased and humbled to help lead that fight. I say help because the fight to improve working conditions is and always has been a collective effort. As we start emerging from what may well be the most challenging year of our lifetimes, we have a lot of work to do together and vital roles to play. FIA has empowered countless working artists, and we’re not even close to done.

It’s important that workers have the right to collective bargaining, are free from sexual harassment and discrimination, and enjoy safe and inclusive workplaces. As the industry evolves, we must also make sure that technology serves artists rather than threatening their livelihoods. That’s why it’s so important we have strong protections for performers’ rights in their image, likeness and name, as well as other intellectual property rights.   

The inequities laid bare by the pandemic have sparked an awakening and a noticeable shift in the discourse about the importance of workers. We must seize this moment to drive home the importance of organized labor, while at the same time rebuilding the vibrant live entertainment industry that has been devastated by COVID.  

The stakes couldn’t be higher, but I am excited to work with my fellow members of FIA and unions around the world to protect and empower working people.   

In closing, I want to acknowledge Ferne Downey for her steady leadership over the last nine years; we are so fortunate to have had her expertise and inspiration. The Federation is better for her service and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

I am so excited to take on this new role, and I know that, with your involvement, we will make a profound and lasting difference.

I look forward to meeting those of you who are new members and seeing old friends.

Strength in unity,