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About Entertainment

Posted July 20, 2009

AFTRA's roots lie in the performances of dramatic actors and entertainers coming to the public over live airwaves. When radio first began, it brought drama, comedy and music into the living rooms of thousands of Americans. Those performers were the first members of then-AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists) .

With the advent of television, many of these wonderful artists were transferred to the front of the camera and their rights were protected by the fledgling organization TVA (Television Authority). Both live and taped, they represented the foundation on which AFTRA was built.

From "Playhouse 90" to "Flight of the Conchords," from Jack Benny to Jay Leno, from Steve Allen to Ryan Seacrest, from George Burns to Larry David and from Carol Burnett to Jon Stewart, AFTRA represents professional actors, dancers, singers, talk and game show hosts and others working in network and cable television, national and local radio, news, commercials, sit-coms, dramas, reality and variety shows.

For a sample of current AFTRA-covered programming, click here to check out the 2009 AFTRA Magazine Summer Issue, featuring "AFTRA -- Your 24-Hour TV Union" (p. 14). 

(Saturday Night Live photo courtesy NBC.)


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