IATSE Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.

The below-the-line union, which has about 125,000 members, cited “her long record of fighting for workers’ rights and working families.”

IATSE’s general executive board voted unanimously to endorse the former U.S. Secretary of State on Monday.

“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that reached out to discuss issues affecting members of the IATSE,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “She spent her valuable time discussing our unique issues and challenges with me, demonstrating not just her support of workers in general, but also that she is concerned with the well-being of members of the IATSE.”

IATSE said it looks forward to working with Clinton on digital piracy, workers’ rights, misclassification of workers and other issues affecting behind-the-scenes entertainment workers. The union noted in the announcement that it had released a statement in July that praised Clinton for “calling out companies that misclassified workers as independent contractors.”

IATSE and the AFL-CIO both backed President Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012. The American Federation of Musicians and the Writers Guild of America West’s political action committee also endorsed Obama’s re-election bid in 2012.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed that Clinton was narrowly trailing in the Iowa Democratic Caucus to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had  49% support compared to Clinton’s 44%. The caucus takes place on Feb. 1.

UPDATE — Clinton released a statement in reaction to the endorsement:

“For decades, members of IATSE have entertained and delighted Americans, but that’s not all. IATSE has fought for good pay and safe working conditions and the chance for everyone who works hard to get ahead. As President, I will stand with IATSE and with hard-working Americans across our country.

“We’ll fight back against corporate efforts to misclassify workers as independent contractors in an attempt to shirk paying fair wages and earned benefits. And we’ll stand up for the right to organize and bargain collectively. I’m proud to have the Theatrical Stage Employees standing with me and I’ll always stand with them. Together we’ll protect the hard-won progress we’ve made, not let a Republican President rip it all away —because when workers are strong, families are strong, and when families are strong, America is strong.”


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  1. VioletSky says:

    Did they ask the members? (no)

  2. Rifi says:

    Hillary Clinton doctor fails to mention head injury.

  3. Bob Buckler says:

    Local #1 IATSE member for Bernie Sanders here. No one in Loeb’s office would speak to me when I called.

  4. sanityisrare says:

    Unions…all about character aren’t they?

  5. Shocking! The mudworms wriggling and squirming in the Hollywierd pig stye muck endorse a non-Hollywierd mudworm wriggling and squirming in the deep, dark, sticky smelly, lefty libtardia political muck. Pyew! Shocking, I say!

  6. kevin altieri says:

    Bernie sanders is the only candidate that I have heard ANY of my animation compatriots talk about, i do not approve of IATSE’s endorsement.

  7. alan herman says:

    Dear Variety…in case you haven’t been following the IA’s FB page, it seems an awful lot of members, are –shall we say–“Less than pleased”– with President Loeb’s announcement, and feel Sanders should have gotten the nod.

  8. Joe DiPadova says:

    I’m IATSE, Local #700 and there is no way in hell I’m voting for Hillary. Endorsing her is an embarrassment. I am 100% for the only candidate who truly supports unions, and not just what unions can do for them–Bernie Sanders.

  9. Christopher Markunas says:

    “She spent her valuable time discussing our unique issues and challenges with me…” – Matt Loeb. Good for you, Matt, and feel free to vote for her, but if you had bothered to poll your membership, like CWA did, I think you would have found that most of us support Bernie. You should be receiving formal notice of that any day now in the form of a petition.

    Christopher Markunas
    Member In Good Standing
    IATSE, Local #52
    New York City

    • Christopher Markunas says:

      If any of my Brothers and Sisters would like to join me in petitioning the International to Endorse Sanders, the link can be found on my Facebook page, which is Public.

  10. Teledyol says:

    IATSE President, Matt Loeb’s, statement is misleading of the sentiment expressed, so far, by the rank and file membership of IATSE.


    “Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that reached out to discuss issues affecting members of the IATSE,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “She spent her valuable time discussing our unique issues and challenges with me, demonstrating not just her support of workers in general, but also that she is concerned with the well-being of members of the IATSE.”

    What is likely is that Hillary Clinton was the ONLY candidate contacted to make a statement. Of course, I don’t have proof of that, but it is a reasonable suspicion of expected political hijinx during an election year; where such positions are developed in the backrooms of self-interested power players.

    There has been a generalized blowback from the membership who — publicly, on social media — seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of Senator Bernie Sanders candidacy. ChoChoNet (Kreyol) is the word that comes to mind as it is really “hot as it can get,” where the membership is clamoring about this unfortunate decision, made without their deliberation.

    This election year is critical to the solidarity of the Entertainment Industry trade unions, the leadership should make sure that they get the larger movement together to take on every office, contested in the federal government, this precipitous statement could threaten that unity.

    It’s not over until we win…

    Randall White
    Member, IATSE Locals 16 & 600

  11. SophieCT says:

    Seems like everyone who wants to make progress is endorsing Hillary!

  12. Edward Slater says:

    This is an endorsement by the executive board. Not the membership.

  13. it’s because she’s a great actor, right?

  14. Gabe says:

    Wow, IATSE is a cheap date! Clinton spent a little (doubltess very very little) of her “valuable time” buttering up the union bosses, who are so completely without balls that they don’t even have the courage to at least run the idea by the membership, who they know wouldn’t stand for this kind of backroom bullshit political tit-for-tat back-scratching wink-wink idiocy.

  15. Jon says:

    I’m a IATSE Local 600 member and was not in any way asked or polled about this endorsement. All of my fellow union members that I’ve talked to support Bernie Sanders, and we will be voting that way in the primary. This is complete nonsense and Hillary is being funded by the very people (namely, Wall Street) that want to dismantle unions to allow for bigger corporate profits. This is an endorsement against the spirit of the union.

  16. Steve says:

    IATSE did not at all poll their membership, or even think of asking them their thoughts on this. If you take a look at the IATSE facebook page, you will see the broad majority of their member base are very mad and angry at this decision. Way to go IATSE, you just showed how our current gov’t works.. at a much smaller level.

  17. Marsha Max says:

    The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, collectively, are a bunch of idiots for endorsing this incompetent crook.

    • Klee says:

      Most of the IATSE membership (self included) supports Sanders. This endorsement comes from the top and they did not seek the opinion of the membership

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