A new deal between The Broadway League, the trade organization representing Broadway producers, and Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the theatrical union that represents Broadway actors and stage managers, will prohibit the forcible use of nondisclosure agreements unless AEA gives its approval, expected only in situations that would protect intellectual property or financial information. News of the deal was confirmed by AEA.
The deal follows a dispute from last year that saw AEA formally asking producer Scott Rudin to release employees of To Kill a Mockingbird and West Side Story from nondisclosure agreements via a filing with the National Labor Relations Board. The complaint was later amended to include The Iceman Cometh and The Lehman Trilogy. All four productions counted Scott Rudin as a lead producer. Rudin has since resigned from The Broadway League and is no longer producing on Broadway following public allegations of abuse.
“As new shows develop, we understand that sometimes NDAs are necessary to protect these works in progress,” said AEA Executive Director Al Vincent, Jr. in a statement, “However, NDAs may not and will not be used to protect anyone from the consequences of their own bad behavior. This settlement is a major step in ensuring they will not be used in that way again.”
AEA has withdrawn its complaint with NLRB in light of this settlement, which formally releases all actors and stage managers employed by the four affected productions from any nondisclosure agreement to which they may have agreed. The agreement will not affect workers in Rudin's office, who are not represented by AEA.