Having received yesterday's decision from an Equity peer review panel, actor Patrick Stewart now has ten business days to appeal the confidential determination on a complaint filed against him by the Shubert Organization.
Shubert's Gerald Schoenfeld complained to Equity after Stewart criticized the show's producer(s) from the Ambassador stage for not marketing or promoting Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan adequately.
"There are two levels of appeal remaining," said Equity's Robert Bruyr. "Only the accused member can appeal a decision in a case like this, so if there is no appeal from Mr. Stewart in the first ten business days after the hearing, the panel's decision stands."
Equity rules preclude any release of information about such hearings, although the New York Post has indicated that Schoenfeld sought a public apology from Stewart, to be announced from the stage much like the actor's original critical statements were made." If Stewart does not request an appeal, Bruyr says, the original panel decision becomes final.
If he does appeal in a timely manner, Bruyr would then assemble an appeals panel that would meet to review transcripts of the original hearing. The panel at this first level of appeal would have the power to affirm, reverse or modify the original decision Though additional statements from the parties are not typical at this level, they can be made, Bruyr said, providing the panel agrees to do so by vote and that both sides of the complaint issue are given the opportunity to represent themselves. Following that step, Stewart would have one last appeal to the Equity national committee. -- By Murdoch McBride