06 August 2019
Equity has agreed a Code of Conduct with a professional wrestling organisation for the first time. The Code, signed by EVE – Riot Grrrls Of Wrestling, sets out terms and conditions for performers in writing, provides a dignity at work policy, and allows time and access for performers to engage with the union. Wrestlers are highly skilled entertainment professionals and should have access to the same level of support as performers in other sectors.
Equity Organiser Steve Duncan-Rice said, “This code of Conduct is an historic achievement and I would like to thank Dann & Emily Read and the wrestling talent of EVE – Riots Grrrls of Wrestling for having the courage to set such a positive example.
“Professional wrestlers are highly skilled performers deserving of recognition and the support that Equity, the union for the entertainment industry, can provide. Professional wrestling combines aspects of acting, dance, physical theatre and circus.
“The work is precarious, often low paid and physically demanding. Equity believes wrestlers are entitled to the same protections and entitlements that other professional performers experience at work and it is our ambition to engage with promoters across the UK to achieve this.”
EVE co-founder Emily Read said, "EVE's ethos is about empowering women and pushing for positive change. For too long professional wrestling has been misclassified as solely a sport instead of as the live action theatrical entertainment that it is. This has meant that wrestlers were not being recognised as the highly trained multi-skilled performers that they are, combining their athleticism with acting, stunts, fight choreography, improvisation and more. A union agreement is a way to empower our performers, helping them to protect themselves and gain the rights and recognition for the work that they do. I hope it will become commonplace throughout professional wrestling. We’re a small company, so if we can do it, anyone should be able to."