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The Dancers Alliance–which claims to negotiate equitable rates and working conditions for non-union workers in the industry–took aim at Beyoncé for a music video she’s reportedly shooting.
In a two-part Instagram post, the Dancers Alliance claims that SAG-AFTRA, a labor union representing working performers, found out that Beyoncé held a casting call for models, actors, and dancers. The Dancers Alliance further claims the casting call announced it would be paying dancers $250 per day rather than the Dancers Alliance’s “baseline standard of at least” $500 per day.
“Dancers accepting these low rates for this caliber artist or any artist is UNACCEPTABLE,” it wrote. “Choreographers not sticking up to production companies about proper DA baseline rates to hire professional dancers is UNACCEPTABLE!”
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Want to know WHY non-union rates have not increased over $500 a day in the last 20 years? With non-union music videos such as the Beyoncé MV, that’s shooting as we speak, for $250 + 20% agency (per day), dancers, choreographers, and agents are NOT upholding the DA baseline standard of at least $500 + agency. Dancers accepting these low rates for this caliber artist or any artist is UNACCEPTABLE! Choreographers not sticking up to production companies about proper DA baseline rates to hire professional dancers is UNACCEPTABLE! Agents NOT informing production companies and upholding their roster of clients’ to DA baseline rates before the call is sent out is UNACCEPTABLE! This flawed system is never going to change without DANCERS TAKING THEIR POWER BACK! We MUST stand by the DA baseline non-union rates for ourselves as a community! But it takes EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! . #dancersalliance #dancecommunity #dance #professional #professionaldancer #musicvideo #beyonce #artist #nonunion #thesystemisflawed #unacceptable #dancers #choreographers #agents #rates #wages #worth #knowyourbusiness #knowyourworth #wemuststandtogether 🙌🏼🙌🏽🙌🏿🙌🏻🙌🏾
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JaQuel Knight, Beyoncé’s choreographer, responded to the accusations in several Instagram stories. Knight claims that $250 per day is the rate for extras, and the rate is on the “higher-end” for extras, which typically runs $125.
Beyoncé’s choreographer comes to her defense after the organization, “Dancers Alliance,” accused the singer of paying ‘low rates’ to dancers. pic.twitter.com/w5EP3G7484— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) December 8, 2019
Knight asked the Dancers Alliance for receipts.
“Please run me the production company, the choreographer, the shoot dates, the dancers that have rehearsed and are shooting for these rates,” wrote Knight, who began working with Beyoncé at just 18 when he choreographed the music video for “Single Ladies.”
Knight says he usually stays out of “Instagram debates”–Beyoncé and her team are notoriously private–but he refuses “to let you guys come and throw dirt on this lady’s name.”
Update 9:45am CT, Dec. 22: The Dancers Alliance sent the Daily Dot two of the casting calls in question, which it said both it and the SAG-AFTRA confirmed was for a non-union Beyoncé music video “before sharing anything with the public.”
“Dancer’s Alliance wants to be clear that our message was intended to educate our community and to hold dancers accountable for accepting jobs, and especially jobs of this caliber, for less than the industry standard minimums,” the Dancers Alliance wrote in a statement to the Daily Dot. “Our post was NOT meant to accuse Beyoncé or her choreographer/team of under paying dancers across the board, nor did we call out any individuals by name. Our only goal was to share this specific casting call with our community.”
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H/T Pop Crave
Eilish O’Sullivan is the news wire editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.