Actor and former "Brady Bunch" star Barry Williams is scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing Oct. 20 at Actors' Equity in New York City. Williams will face charges of "non-union activity," an Equity spokesperson says, stemming from actions Williams is said to have engaged in prior to declaring "financial core" status with the union.
As reported earlier, the union and Williams are in conflict over Williams' starring role as Captain Von Trapp in a non-union Troika Production of The Sound of Music. The Troika show opens Oct. 27 in Ft. Myers, one week after the scheduled hearing.
Because the show is non-union, Williams was originally cited by Equity, which had been attempting to negotiate with Troika. Williams reportedly walked away from the role and dodged union disciplinary actions but quickly returned and is back with the show now. With regard to Equity, Williams appears to have chosen the job over the union and went as far as requesting "financial core" status, an affiliation that falls short of full membership.
It also has repercussions. In response to Williams' request for "financial core" status, Equity followed its routine procedure and refused to accept his dues and has reinstated its own disciplinary actions as well as its requests for disciplinary actions from both the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists — which have an associative obligation with Equity to do so.
Although a late call to William's attorney on Oct. 17 was not returned due to travel, there has been some indication in the past that the break with Equity is not permanent. "I think Barry's been a very loyal member of the union for a good number of years," Williams' attorney, Michael Elkin told Playbill On-Line. Speaking from Los Angeles several days ago, Elkin said Williams originally "thought he'd be able to participate in the production and that it would be possible with the union's consent." "He did not want to offend anyone," Elkin said. "and by electing financial core status it allows him to perform without a union violation. Elkin stressed that Williams was "very supportive of the union" and has elected his different status because he "didn't want to offend anyone."
"We feel the union's action was unauthorized and that it will be responded to in the correct forum, " Elkin said at the time. Asked if Williams planned to return to full Equity membership, Elkin said yes, but only when it was "appropriate for the union, for himself and for the productions in which he will participate."
-- By Murdoch McBride