A guild /ɡɪld/ is an association of artisans or merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as a confraternities of tradesmen. They were organized in a manner something between a professional association, a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society. They often depended on grants of letters patent from a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as guild meeting-places. Guild members found guilty of cheating on the public would be fined or banned from the guild.
An important result of the guild framework was the emergence of universities at Bologna (established in 1088), Oxford (at least since 1096) and Paris (c. 1150); they originated as guilds of students (as at Bologna) or of masters (as at Paris).
A type of guild was known in Roman times. Known as collegium, collegia or corpus, these were organised groups of merchants who specialised in a particular craft and whose membership of the group was voluntary. One such example is the corpus naviculariorum, the college of long-distance shippers based at Rome's La Ostia port. The Roman guilds failed to survive the collapse of the Roman Empire.
In medieval cities, craftsmen tended to form associations based on their trades, confraternities of textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers, each of whom controlled secrets of traditionally imparted technology, the "arts" or "mysteries" of their crafts. Usually the founders were free independent master craftsmen who hired apprentices.
There were several types of guilds, including the two main categories of merchant guilds and craft guilds but also the frith guild and religious guild. Guilds arose beginning in the High Middle Ages as craftsmen united to protect their common interests. In the German city of Augsburg craft guilds are being mentioned in the Towncharter of 1156.
The continental system of guilds and merchants arrived in England after the Norman Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town. For example, London's Guildhall became the seat of the Court of Common Council of the City of London Corporation, the world’s oldest continuously elected local government whose members to this day must be Freemen of the City. The Freedom of the City, effective from the Middle Ages until 1835, gave the right to trade, and was only bestowed upon members of a Guild or Livery.
Early egalitarian communities called "guilds"  were denounced by Catholic clergy for their "conjurations" — the binding oaths sworn among the members to support one another in adversity, kill specific enemies, and back one another in feuds or in business ventures. The occasion for these oaths were drunken banquets held on December 26, the pagan feast of Jul (Yule)—in 858, West Francian Bishop Hincmar sought vainly to Christianise the guilds.
In the Early Middle Ages, most of the Roman craft organisations, originally formed as religious confraternities, had disappeared, with the apparent exceptions of stonecutters and perhaps glassmakers, mostly the people that had local skills. Gregory of Tours tells a miraculous tale of a builder whose art and techniques suddenly left him, but were restored by an apparition of the Virgin Mary in a dream. Michel Rouche remarks that the story speaks for the importance of practically transmitted journeymanship.
In France, guilds were called corps de métiers. According to Viktor Ivanovich Rutenburg, "Within the guild itself there was very little division of labour, which tended to operate rather between the guilds. Thus, according to Étienne Boileau's Book of Handicrafts, by the mid-13th century there were no less than 100 guilds in Paris, a figure which by the 14th century had risen to 350." There were different guilds of metal-workers: the farriers, knife-makers, locksmiths, chain-forgers, nail-makers, often formed separate and distinct corporations; the armourers were divided into helmet-makers, escutcheon-makers, harness-makers, harness-polishers, etc. In Catalan towns, specially at Barcelona, guilds or gremis were a basic agent in the society: a shoemakers' guild is recorded in 1208.
In England, specifically in the City of London Corporation, more than 110 guilds, referred to as livery companies, survive today, with the oldest more than a thousand years old. Other groups, such as the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers, have been formed far more recently. Membership in a livery company is expected for individuals participating in the governance of The City, as the Lord Mayor and the Remembrancer.
The guild system reached a mature state in Germany circa 1300 and held on in German cities into the 19th century, with some special privileges for certain occupations remaining today. In the 15th century, Hamburg had 100 guilds, Cologne 80, and Lübeck 70. The latest guilds to develop in Western Europe were the gremios of Spain: e.g., Valencia (1332) or Toledo (1426).
Not all city economies were controlled by guilds; some cities were "free." Where guilds were in control, they shaped labor, production and trade; they had strong controls over instructional capital, and the modern concepts of a lifetime progression of apprentice to craftsman, and then from journeyman eventually to widely recognized master and grandmaster began to emerge. In order to become a master, a journeyman would have to go on a three-year voyage called journeyman years. The practice of the journeyman years still exists in Germany and France.
As production became more specialized, trade guilds were divided and subdivided, eliciting the squabbles over jurisdiction that produced the paperwork by which economic historians trace their development: The metalworking guilds of Nuremberg were divided among dozens of independent trades in the boom economy of the 13th century, and there were 101 trades in Paris by 1260. In Ghent, as in Florence, the woolen textile industry developed as a congeries of specialized guilds. The appearance of the European guilds was tied to the emergent money economy, and to urbanization. Before this time it was not possible to run a money-driven organization, as commodity money was the normal way of doing business.
The guild was at the center of European handicraft organization into the 16th century. In France, a resurgence of the guilds in the second half of the 17th century is symptomatic of the monarchy's concerns to impose unity, control production and reap the benefits of transparent structure in the shape of more efficient taxation.
The guilds were identified with organizations enjoying certain privileges (letters patent), usually issued by the king or state and overseen by local town business authorities (some kind of chamber of commerce). These were the predecessors of the modern patent and trademark system. The guilds also maintained funds in order to support infirm or elderly members, as well as widows and orphans of guild members, funeral benefits, and a 'tramping' allowance for those needing to travel to find work. As the guild system of the City of London declined during the 17th century, the Livery Companies transformed into mutual assistance fraternities along such lines.
European guilds imposed long standardized periods of apprenticeship, and made it difficult for those lacking the capital to set up for themselves or without the approval of their peers to gain access to materials or knowledge, or to sell into certain markets, an area that equally dominated the guilds' concerns. These are defining characteristics of mercantilism in economics, which dominated most European thinking about political economy until the rise of classical economics.
The guild system survived the emergence of early capitalists, which began to divide guild members into "haves" and dependent "have-nots". The civil struggles that characterize the 14th-century towns and cities were struggles in part between the greater guilds and the lesser artisanal guilds, which depended on piecework. "In Florence, they were openly distinguished: the Arti maggiori and the Arti minori—already there was a popolo grasso and a popolo magro". Fiercer struggles were those between essentially conservative guilds and the merchant class, which increasingly came to control the means of production and the capital that could be ventured in expansive schemes, often under the rules of guilds of their own. German social historians trace the Zunftrevolution, the urban revolution of guildmembers against a controlling urban patriciate, sometimes reading into them, however, perceived foretastes of the class struggles of the 19th century.
In the countryside, where guild rules did not operate, there was freedom for the entrepreneur with capital to organize cottage industry, a network of cottagers who spun and wove in their own premises on his account, provided with their raw materials, perhaps even their looms, by the capitalist who took a share of the profits. Such a dispersed system could not so easily be controlled where there was a vigorous local market for the raw materials: wool was easily available in sheep-rearing regions, whereas silk was not.
In Florence, Italy, there were seven to twelve "greater guilds" and fourteen "lesser guilds" the most important of the greater guilds was that for judges and notaries, who handled the legal business of all the other guilds and often served as an arbitrator of disputes. Other greater guilds include the wool, silk, and the money changers' guilds. They prided themselves on a reputation for very high-quality work, which was rewarded with premium prices. The guilds fined members who deviated from standards. Other greater guilds included those of doctors, druggists, and furriers. Among the lesser guilds, were those for bakers, saddle makers, ironworkers and other artisans. They had a sizable membership, but lacked the political and social standing necessary to influence city affairs.
The guild was made up by experienced and confirmed experts in their field of handicraft. They were called master craftsmen. Before a new employee could rise to the level of mastery, he had to go through a schooling period during which he was first called an apprentice. After this period he could rise to the level of journeyman. Apprentices would typically not learn more than the most basic techniques until they were trusted by their peers to keep the guild's or company's secrets.
Like journey, the distance that could be travelled in a day, the title 'journeyman' derives from the French words for 'day' (jour and journée) from which came the middle English word journei. Journeymen were able to work for other masters, unlike apprentices, and generally paid by the day and were thus day labourers. After being employed by a master for several years, and after producing a qualifying piece of work, the apprentice was granted the rank of journeyman and was given documents (letters or certificates from his master and/or the guild itself) which certified him as a journeyman and entitled him to travel to other towns and countries to learn the art from other masters. These journeys could span large parts of Europe and were an unofficial way of communicating new methods and techniques, though by no means all journeymen made such travels — they were most common in Germany and Italy, and in other countries journeymen from small cities would often visit the capital.
After this journey and several years of experience, a journeyman could be received as master craftsman, though in some guilds this step could be made straight from apprentice. This would typically require the approval of all masters of a guild, a donation of money and other goods (often omitted for sons of existing members), and the production of a so-called "masterpiece,' which would illustrate the abilities of the aspiring master craftsman; this was often retained by the guild.
The medieval guild was established by charters or letters patent or similar authority by the city or the ruler and normally held a monopoly on trade in its craft within the city in which it operated: handicraft workers were forbidden by law to run any business if they were not members of a guild, and only masters were allowed to be members of a guild. Before these privileges were legislated, these groups of handicraft workers were simply called 'handicraft associations'.
The town authorities might be represented in the guild meetings and thus had a means of controlling the handicraft activities. This was important since towns very often depended on a good reputation for export of a narrow range of products, on which not only the guild's, but the town's, reputation depended. Controls on the association of physical locations to well-known exported products, e.g. wine from the Champagne and Bordeaux regions of France, tin-glazed earthenwares from certain cities in Holland, lace from Chantilly, etc., helped to establish a town's place in global commerce — this led to modern trademarks.
In many German and Italian cities, the more powerful guilds often had considerable political influence, and sometimes attempted to control the city authorities. In the 14th century, this led to numerous bloody uprisings, during which the guilds dissolved town councils and detained patricians in an attempt to increase their influence. In fourteenth-century north-east Germany, people of Wendish, i.e. Slavic, origin were not allowed to join some guilds. According to Wilhelm Raabe, "down into the eighteenth century no German guild accepted a Wend."
As Ogilvie (2004) shows, the guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation. Through what economists now call "rent-seeking" they imposed deadweight losses on the economy. Ogilvie says they generated no demonstrable positive externalities and notes that industry began to flourish only after the guilds faded away. Guilds persisted over the centuries because they redistributed resources to politically powerful merchants. On the other hand, Ogilvie agrees, guilds created "social capital" of shared norms, common information, mutual sanctions, and collective political action. This social capital benefited guild members, even as it hurt outsiders.
The guild system became a target of much criticism towards the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. They were believed to oppose free trade and hinder technological innovation, technology transfer and business development. According to several accounts of this time, guilds became increasingly involved in simple territorial struggles against each other and against free practitioners of their arts.
Two of the most outspoken critics of the guild system were Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith, and all over Europe a tendency to oppose government control over trades in favour of laissez-faire free market systems was growing rapidly and making its way into the political and legal system. The French Revolution saw guilds as a last remnant of feudalism. The Le Chapelier Law of 1791 abolished the guilds in France. Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations (Book I, Chapter X, paragraph 72):
It is to prevent this reduction of price, and consequently of wages and profit, by restraining that free competition which would most certainly occasion it, that all corporations, and the greater part of corporation laws, have been established. (...) and when any particular class of artificers or traders thought proper to act as a corporation without a charter, such adulterine guilds, as they were called, were not always disfranchised upon that account, but obliged to fine annually to the king for permission to exercise their usurped privileges.
Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto also criticized the guild system for its rigid gradation of social rank and the relation of oppressor/oppressed entailed by this system. From this time comes the low regard in which some people hold the guilds to this day. In part due to their own inability to control unruly corporate behavior, the tide turned against the guilds.
Because of industrialization and modernization of the trade and industry, and the rise of powerful nation-states that could directly issue patent and copyright protections — often revealing the trade secrets — the guilds' power faded. After the French Revolution they fell in most European nations through the 19th century, as the guild system was disbanded and replaced by free trade laws. By that time, many former handicraft workers had been forced to seek employment in the emerging manufacturing industries, using not closely guarded techniques but standardized methods controlled by corporations.
Guilds are sometimes said to be the precursors of modern trade unions. Guilds, however, can also be seen as a set of self-employed skilled craftsmen with ownership and control over the materials and tools they needed to produce their goods. Guilds were more like cartels than they were like trade unions (Olson 1982). However, the journeymen organizations, which were at the time illegal, may have been influential.
The exclusive privilege of a guild to produce certain goods or provide certain services was similar in spirit and character with the original patent systems that surfaced in England in 1624. These systems played a role in ending the guilds' dominance, as trade secret methods were superseded by modern firms directly revealing their techniques, and counting on the state to enforce their legal monopoly.
Some guild traditions still remain in a few handicrafts, in Europe especially among shoemakers and barbers. Some ritual traditions of the guilds were conserved in order organisations such as the Freemasons, allegedly deriving from the Masons Guild, and the Oddfellows, allegedly derived from various smaller guilds. These are, however, not very important economically except as reminders of the responsibilities of some trades toward the public.
Modern antitrust law could be said to derive in some ways from the original statutes by which the guilds were abolished in Europe.
The economic consequences of guilds have led to heated debates among economic historians. On the one side, scholars say that since merchant guilds persisted over long periods they must have been efficient institutions (since inefficient institutions die out). Others say they persisted not because they benefited the entire economy but because they benefited the owners, who used political power to protect them. Ogilvie (2011) says they regulated trade for their own benefit, were monopolies, distorted markets, fixed prices, and restricted entrance into the guild. Ogilvie (2008) argues that their long apprenticeships were unnecessary to acquire skills, and their conservatism reduced the rate of innovation and made the society poorer. She says their main goal was rent seeking, that is, to shift money to the membership at the expense of the entire economy.
Epstein and Prak's book (2008) rejects Ogilvie's conclusions. Specifically, Epstein argues that guilds were cost-sharing rather than rent-seeking institutions. They located and matched masters and likely apprentices through monitored learning. Whereas the acquisition of craft skills required experience-based learning, he argues that this process necessitated many years in apprenticeship.
The extent to which guilds were able to monopolize markets is also debated.
For the most part, medieval guilds limited women's participation, and usually only the widows and daughters of known masters were allowed in. Even if a woman entered a guild, she was excluded from guild offices. It's important to note that while this was the overarching practice, there were guilds and professions that did allow women's participation, and that the Medieval era was an ever-changing, mutable society—especially considering that it spanned hundreds of years and many different cultures. There were multiple accounts of women's participation in guilds in England and the Continent. In a study of London silkwomen of the 15th century by Marian K. Dale, she notes that medieval women could inherit property, belong to guilds, manage estates, and run the family business if widowed. The Livre des métiers de Paris (Book of Trades of Paris) was compiled by Étienne Boileau, the Grand Provost of Paris under King Louis IX. It documents that 5 out of 110 Parisian guilds were female monopolies, and that only a few guilds systematically excluded women. Boileau notes that some professions were also open to women: surgeons, glass-blowers, chain-mail forgers. Entertainment guilds also had a significant number of women members. John, Duke of Berry documents payments to female musicians from Le Puy, Lyons, and Paris.
Women did have problems with entering healers' guilds, as opposed to their relative freedom in trade or craft guilds. Their status in healers' guilds were often challenged. The idea that medicine should only be practice by men was supported by the Catholic Church, royal heads, and secular authorities at the time. It is believed that the Inquisition and witch hunts throughout the ages contributed to the lack of women in medical guilds.
Scholars from the history of ideas have noticed that consultants play a part similar to that of the journeymen of the guild systems: they often travel a lot, work at many companies and spread new practices and knowledge between companies and corporations.
Professional organizations replicate guild structure and operation. Professions such as architecture, engineering, geology, and land surveying require varying lengths of apprenticeships before one can gain a "professional" certification. These certifications hold great legal weight: most states make them a prerequisite to practicing there.
Thomas W. Malone champions a modern variant of the guild structure for modern "e-lancers", professionals who do mostly telework for multiple employers. Insurance including any professional liability, intellectual capital protections, an ethical code perhaps enforced by peer pressure and software, and other benefits of a strong association of producers of knowledge, benefit from economies of scale, and may prevent cut-throat competition that leads to inferior services undercutting prices. And, as with historical guilds, such a structure will resist foreign competition. The free software community has from time to time explored a guild-like structure to unite against competition from Microsoft, e.g. Advogato assigns journeyer and master ranks to those committing to work only or mostly on free software.
In many European countries guilds have experienced a revival as local organizations for craftsmen, primarily in traditional skills. They may function as forums for developing competence and are often the local units of a national employer's organisation.
In the City of London, the ancient guilds survive as livery companies, all of which play a ceremonial role in the City's many customs. The City of London livery companies maintain strong links with their respective trade, craft or profession, some still retain regulatory, inspection or enforcement roles. The senior members of the City of London Livery Companies (known as liverymen) elect the sheriffs and approve the candidates for the office of Lord Mayor of London. Guilds also survive in many other towns and cities the UK including in Preston, Lancashire, as the Preston Guild Merchant where among other celebrations descendants of burgesses are still admitted into membership. With the City of London livery companies, the UK has over 300 extant guilds and growing.
In 1878 the London livery companies established the City and Guilds of London Institute the forerunner of the engineering school (still called City and Guilds College) at Imperial College London. The aim of the City and Guilds of London Institute was the advancement of technical education. As of 2013 "City and Guilds" operates as an examining and accreditation body for vocational, managerial and engineering qualifications from entry-level craft and trade skills up to post-doctoral achievement. A separate organisation, the City and Guilds of London Art School has also close ties with the London livery companies and is involved in the training of master craftworkers in stone and wood carving, as well as fine artists.
In Germany there are no longer any Zünfte (or Gilden – the terms used were rather different from town to town), nor any restriction of a craft to a privileged corporation. However, under one other of their old names albeit a less frequent one, Innungen, guilds continue to exist as private member clubs with membership limited to practitioners of particular trades or activities. These clubs are corporations under public law, albeit the membership is voluntary; the president normally comes from the ranks of master-craftsmen and is called Obermeister ("master-in-chief"). Journeymen elect their own representative bodies, with their president having the traditional title of Altgesell (senior journeyman).
There are also "craft chambers" (Handwerkskammern), which have less resemblance to ancient guilds in that they are organized for all crafts in a certain region, not just one. In them membership is mandatory, and they serve to establish self-governance of the crafts.
In the United States guilds exist in several fields.
In the film and television industry, guild membership is generally a prerequisite for working on major productions in certain capacities. The Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, East, Writers Guild of America, West and other profession-specific guilds have the ability to exercise strong control in the cinema of the United States as a result of a rigid system of intellectual-property rights and a history of power-brokers also holding guild membership (e.g., DreamWorks founder Steven Spielberg was, and is, a DGA member). These guilds maintain their own contracts with production companies to ensure a certain number of their members are hired for roles in each film or television production, and that their members are paid a minimum of guild "scale," along with other labor protections. These guilds set high standards for membership, and exclude professional actors, writers, etc. who do not abide by the strict rules for competing within the film and television industry in America.
Real-estate brokerage offers an example of a modern American guild system. Signs of guild behavior in real-estate brokerage include: standard pricing (6% of the home price), strong affiliation among all practitioners, self-regulation (see National Association of Realtors), strong cultural identity (see realtor), little price variation with quality differences, and traditional methods in use by all practitioners. In September 2005 the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors, challenging NAR practices that (the DOJ asserted) prevent competition from practitioners who use different methods. The DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission in 2005 advocated against state laws, supported by NAR, that disadvantage new kinds of brokers. U.S. v. National Assoc. of Realtors, Civil Action No. 05C-5140 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 7, 2005).
The practice of law in the United States also exemplifies modern guilds at work. Every state maintains its own bar association, supervised by that state's highest court. The court decides the criteria for entering and staying in the legal profession. In most states, every attorney must become a member of that state's bar association in order to practice law. State laws forbid any person from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and practicing attorneys are subject to rules of professional conduct that are enforced by the state's high court.
Medical associations comparable to guilds include the state Medical Boards, the American Medical Association, and the American Dental Association. Medical licensing in most states requires specific training, tests and years of low-paid apprenticeship (internship and residency) under harsh working conditions. Even qualified international or out-of-state doctors may not practice without acceptance by the local medical guild (Medical board). Similarly, nurses and physicians' practitioners have their own guilds. A doctor cannot work as a physician's assistant unless (s)he separately trains, tests and apprentices as one.
Australia is home to several guilds including the Australian Butcher's Guild (a fraternity of independent butchers) which provides links to resources like Australian meat standards and a guide to different beef cuts. Another guild is The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, created in 1928 as the Federated Pharmaceutical Services Guild of Australia, which serves "5700 community pharmacies," while also providing training and standards for the country's pharmacists. Australia's craft guilds include, among others, the Australian Director's Guild, representing the country's directors, documentary makers and animators, the Australian Writer's Guild, and The Artists Guild, a craft guild focusing on female artists.
[...] a cognitive basis of any kind had to be at least approximately defined before the rising modern professions could negotiate cognitive exclusiveness — that is, before they could convincingly establish a teaching monopoly on their specific tools and techniques, while claiming absolute superiority for them. The proved institutional mechanisms for this negotiation were the license, the qualifying examination, the diploma, and formal training in a common curriculum. The typical institutions that administered these devices were, first, the guild-like professional association, and later the professional school, which superseded the association in effectiveness. [...] Obviously, none of this was in itself an organizational invention. The guilds of merchants that sprang up in eleventh-century Europe were also voluntary associations tending towards the monopolistic control of a new form of trade.[...]
From November 5, 2007, to February 12, 2008, all 12,000 film and television screenwriters of the American labor unions Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), and Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) went on strike.The strike sought increased funding for the writers in comparison to the profits of the larger studios. It was targeted at the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a trade organization representing the interests of 397 American film and television producers. The most influential of these are eleven corporations: CBS (headed by Les Moonves), MGM (Harry E. Sloan), NBCUniversal (Jeffrey Zucker), The Weinstein Company (Harvey and Bob Weinstein), Lionsgate (Jon Feltheimer), News Corp/Fox (Peter Chernin), Paramount Pictures (Brad Grey), Anchor Bay/Liberty Media/Starz (Chris McGurk), Sony Pictures (Michael Lynton), the Walt Disney Company (Robert Iger), and Warner Bros. (Barry Meyer).Negotiators for the striking writers reached a tentative agreement on February 8, 2008, and the boards of both guilds unanimously approved the deal on February 10, 2008. Striking writers voted on February 12, 2008 on whether to lift the restraining order, with 92.5% voting to end the strike. On February 26, the WGA announced that the contract had been ratified with a 93.6% approval among WGA members. The Writers Guild later requested a court order seeking that the agreement be honored and implemented.
The guilds were on strike for 14 weeks and 2 days (100 days). In contrast, the previous strike in 1988, the longest in the history of the Guild, lasted 21 weeks and 6 days (153 days), costing the American entertainment industry an estimated $500 million in opportunity costs. According to a National Public Radio (NPR) report filed on February 12, 2008, the strike cost the economy of Los Angeles an estimated $1.5 billion. A report from the UCLA Anderson School of Management put the loss at $380 million, while economist Jack Kyser put the loss at $2.1 billion.The resolution of the strike was unclear: while they lost out on short-term deals, they received a new percentage payment on the distributor's gross for digital distribution based on the deal that the DGA made during the strike.Albert Finney
Albert Finney (9 May 1936 – 7 February 2019) was an English actor who worked in film, television and theatre. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and worked in the theatre before attaining prominence on screen in the early 1960s, debuting with The Entertainer (1960), directed by Tony Richardson, who had previously directed him in the theatre. He maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television.
He is known for his roles in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (also 1960), Tom Jones (1963), Two for the Road (1967), Scrooge (1970), Annie (1982), The Dresser (1983), Miller's Crossing (1990), A Man of No Importance (1994), Erin Brockovich (2000), Big Fish (2003), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012), and the James Bond film Skyfall (2012).
A recipient of BAFTA , Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards, Finney was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor four times, for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984); he was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Erin Brockovich (2000). His performance as Winston Churchill in the BBC–HBO television biographical film The Gathering Storm (2002) saw him receive a number of accolades.Allison Janney
Allison Brooks Janney (born November 19, 1959) is an American actress. A prolific character actress, Janney has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Janney won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the summer of 1984, following her graduation from Kenyon College. After years of minor and uncredited film and television appearances, Janney's breakthrough came with the role of C. J. Cregg in the NBC political drama The West Wing (1999–2006), for which she received four Primetime Emmy Awards. The character was widely popular during the airing of the series and was later recognized as one of the greatest female characters on American television. In 2014, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Margaret Scully on the Showtime period drama Masters of Sex. Since 2013, she has starred as a cynical recovering addict in the CBS sitcom Mom. Her performance on the show has gained her five consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won her two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Janney made her professional stage debut with the Off-Broadway production Ladies and followed with numerous bit parts in various similar productions, before making her Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of Present Laughter. She won Drama Desk Awards and received Tony Award nominations for her performances in the 1997 Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge, and the 2009 original Broadway production of the musical 9 to 5.
Her film roles include Private Parts (1997), Primary Colors (1998), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), American Beauty (1999), The Hours (2002), Hairspray (2007), Juno (2007), The Help (2011), The Way, Way Back (2013), Tammy (2014), Spy (2015), Tallulah (2016), and The Girl on the Train (2016). In 2017, her performance as LaVona Golden in the biographical film I, Tonya garnered widespread acclaim and earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.Annette Bening
Annette Carol Bening (born May 29, 1958) is an American actress. She began her career on stage with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company in 1980, and played Lady Macbeth in 1984 at the American Conservatory Theatre. She was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Coastal Disturbances. She is a four-time Academy Award nominee for the films: The Grifters (1990), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004), and The Kids Are All Right (2010). In 2006, she received a film star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bening won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for American Beauty, two Golden Globe Awards for Being Julia and The Kids Are All Right, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Mrs. Harris.Bill Paxton
William Paxton (May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017) was an American actor and director. He appeared in films such as The Terminator (1984), Weird Science (1985), Aliens (1986), Predator 2 (1990), Tombstone (1993), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), U-571 (2000), Vertical Limit (2000), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Nightcrawler (2014). He also starred in the HBO drama series Big Love (2006–2011), earning three Golden Globe Award nominations during the show's run. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for portraying Randall McCoy in the History channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012). Paxton's final film appearance was in The Circle (2017), released two months after his death.Directors Guild of America
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild that represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. Founded as the Screen Directors Guild in 1936, the group merged with the Radio and Television Directors Guild in 1960 to become the modern Directors Guild of America.Don Cheadle
Donald Frank Cheadle Jr. (; born November 29, 1964) is an American actor. Following early roles in Hamburger Hill (1987), and as the gangster "Rocket" in the film Colors (1988), Cheadle built his career in the 1990s with roles in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Rosewood (1997) and Boogie Nights (1997). His collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh resulted in the films Out of Sight (1998), Traffic (2000) and Ocean's Eleven (2001).
Cheadle was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the historical genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda (2004). From 2012 to 2016, he starred as Marty Kaan on the Showtime comedy series House of Lies; he won a Golden Globe Award in 2013 for the role.
Cheadle extended his global recognition with his role of War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).Frances McDormand
Frances Louise McDormand (born Cynthia Ann Smith, June 23, 1957) is an American actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards (Primetime), and a Tony Award, making her one of the few performers to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting. She has also won a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.
McDormand was educated at Bethany College and Yale University. She has starred in a number of films by the Coen brothers, including Blood Simple (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), Fargo (1996), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Burn After Reading (2008), and Hail, Caesar! (2016). For playing Marge Gunderson in Fargo, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other film roles include Mississippi Burning (1988), Almost Famous (2000), and North Country (2005), all earning her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2017, she starred as a hardened woman seeking justice for her daughter's murder in the crime-drama film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which won her a second Academy Award for Best Actress, among others.
McDormand made her Broadway debut in a 1984 revival of the drama Awake and Sing!, and received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her acclaimed performance as Stella Kowalski in a 1988 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. She returned to Broadway in 2008 with a revival of The Country Girl, leading to a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Play. In 2011, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for playing a troubled single mother in Good People. On television, McDormand played the titular protagonist in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014), which won her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress.Helen Hunt
Helen Elizabeth Hunt (born June 15, 1963) is an American actress, director, and screenwriter. She is best known for starring as Jamie Buchman in the sitcom Mad About You (1992–1999), for which she won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and for starring as Carol Connelly in the romantic comedy film As Good as It Gets (1997), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Hunt's other notable films include Twister (1996), Cast Away (2000), What Women Want (2000), Pay It Forward (2000), and The Sessions (2012). Hunt's performance in The Sessions garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She made her directorial debut with the comedy-drama film Then She Found Me (2007). Hunt has also won four Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.Jordan Peele
Jordan Haworth Peele (born February 21, 1979) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director. He appeared for five seasons as a cast member on Mad TV and starred with Keegan-Michael Key in the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele. In 2014, he had a recurring role in the first season of the FX anthology series Fargo, based on the 1996 film of the same name. He also co-created the TBS comedy series The Last O.G. and the YouTube comedy series Weird City.
Peele's 2017 directorial debut, the horror film Get Out, earned critical acclaim and was a box-office success. He received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2019, Peele received his second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. With two nominations, he now has more Best Picture nominations than any other black producer in history.Kevin Costner
Kevin Michael Costner (born January 18, 1955) is an American actor, director, producer, and musician. His accolades include two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Primetime Emmy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Costner began his acting career with Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. (1981). Following a few minor supporting parts, he rose to prominence with his portrayal of Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987). This was followed by a widely successful period in his career with starring roles in such films as; Bull Durham (1988), Field of Dreams (1989), Dances with Wolves (1990), for which he won two Academy Awards, JFK (1991), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and The Bodyguard (1992). In 1995, Costner starred in and co-produced Waterworld. The most expensive film ever made at the time, it was a major box office disappointment which marked a significant downturn in his career. His second directorial feature The Postman (1997) was another disappointment which marked a massive downfall of his career as a leading man. He has since starred in numerous films to rejuvenate his leading man status, including Message in a Bottle (1999), For Love of the Game (1999), Thirteen Days (2000), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Dragonfly (2002), Rumor Has It (2005), The Guardian (2006), Mr. Brooks (2007), 3 Days to Kill (2014), McFarland, USA (2015), Draft Day (2014), and Criminal (2016). All of these films however have been either critical or commercial failures, failing to reboot his status. Nevertheless in recent years he has had supporting parts in critically favored films including The Upside of Anger (2005), Man of Steel (2013), Hidden Figures (2016), and Molly's Game (2017).
On television, Costner portrayed Devil Anse Hatfield in
the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012), winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Since 2018, he stars as John Dutton on drama series Yellowstone.Mahershala Ali
Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (né Gilmore; born February 16, 1974), known professionally as Mahershala Ali (), is an American actor who is the recipient of several awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.
After pursuing a MFA degree from New York University, Ali began his career as a regular on television series, such as Crossing Jordan (2001–2002) and Threat Matrix (2003–2004), before his breakthrough role as Richard Tyler in the science fiction series The 4400 (2004–2007). His first major film release was in the David Fincher-directed fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). He gained wider attention for his supporting role in the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards (2013–2016). He featured as Boggs in the final two films of The Hunger Games film series and as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in the Netflix superhero series Marvel's Luke Cage (2016).
For playing a drug dealer in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar for acting. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for portraying Don Shirley in the comedy-drama Green Book (2018). In 2019, he played the lead role of a troubled police officer in the third season of the HBO anthology crime series True Detective.Paul Giamatti
Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (; born June 6, 1967) is an American actor, comedian, and producer. He first garnered attention for his breakout role in Private Parts (1997) as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton, which led to him playing more supporting roles such as Sergeant Hill in Saving Private Ryan (1998), Bob Zmuda in Man on the Moon (1999) and John Maxwell in Big Momma's House (2000).
He won acclaim for his leading roles as Harvey Pekar in American Splendor (2003), Miles Raymond in Sideways (2004) and Mike Flaherty in Win Win (2011) while continuing to play supporting roles, like Joe Gould in Cinderella Man (2005), which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Chief Inspector Uhl in The Illusionist (2006), Karl Hertz in Shoot 'Em Up (2007), Nicholas "Nick" Claus in Fred Claus (2007), Tom Duffy in The Ides of March (2011), Theophilus Freeman in 12 Years a Slave (2013), Ralph in Saving Mr. Banks (2013), Eugene Landy in Love & Mercy (2015), Dr. Lawrence Hayes in San Andreas (2015) and Jerry Heller in Straight Outta Compton (2015).
He played the titular character in the HBO miniseries John Adams (2008), which earned him a Golden Globe Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. He currently stars as U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. in the Showtime television series Billions (2016–current).Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell (born November 5, 1968) is an American actor. He became known for his leading roles in Lawn Dogs (1997), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Matchstick Men (2003), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Moon (2009) and Seven Psychopaths (2012). He has also played supporting roles in The Green Mile (1999), Galaxy Quest (1999), Frost/Nixon (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Conviction (2010) and The Way, Way Back (2013).
In 2017, Rockwell's performance as a troubled police deputy in the crime-drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. The following year, his portrayal of George W. Bush in the biopic Vice earned him his second Academy Award nomination in the same category.Screen Actors Guild
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was an American labor union which represented over 100,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide. On March 30, 2012, the union leadership announced that the SAG membership voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to create SAG-AFTRA.According to SAG's Mission Statement, the Guild sought to: negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements that establish equitable levels of compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its performers; collect compensation for exploitation of recorded performances by its members, and provide protection against unauthorized use of those performances; and preserve and expand work opportunities for its members.The Guild was founded in 1933 in an effort to eliminate what were described as exploitation of Hollywood actors who were being forced into oppressive multi-year contracts with the major movie studios. Opposition to these contracts included that they did not include restrictions on work hours or minimum rest periods, and often had clauses that automatically renewed at the studios' discretion. These contracts were notorious for allowing the studios to dictate the public and private lives of the performers who signed them, and most did not have provisions to allow the performer to end the deal.The Screen Actors Guild was associated with the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (AAAA), which is the primary association of performer's unions in the United States. AAAA is affiliated with the AFL–CIO. SAG claimed exclusive jurisdiction over motion picture performances, and shared jurisdiction of radio, television, Internet, and other new media with its sister union AFTRA, with which it shared 44,000 dual members. Internationally, the SAG was affiliated with the International Federation of Actors.
In addition to its main offices in Hollywood, SAG also maintained local branches in several major US cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Since 1995, the guild annually awarded the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which are considered an indicator of success at the Academy Awards. This award is continued by SAG-AFTRA.Screen Actors Guild Award
Screen Actors Guild Awards (also known as SAG Awards) are accolades given by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) to recognize outstanding performances in film and prime time television. The statuette given, a nude male figure holding both a mask of comedy and a mask of tragedy, is called "The Actor". It is 16 inches (41 cm) tall, weighs over 12 pounds (5.4 kg), is cast in solid bronze, and produced by the American Fine Arts Foundry in Burbank, California.SAG Awards have been one of the major awards events in Hollywood since 1995. Nominations for the awards come from two committees, one for film and one for television, each numbering 2100 members of the union, randomly selected anew each year, with the full membership (165,000 as of 2012) available to vote for the winners. It is considered an indicator of success at the Academy Awards. The awards have been telecast since 1998 on TNT, and since 2007 have been simulcast on TBS.
The inaugural SAG Awards aired live on February 25, 1995 from Universal Studios' Stage 12. The second SAG awards aired live from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, while subsequent awards have been held at the Shrine Auditorium. On December 4, 2017, it was announced that the award show would have its first host ever in its twenty-four year history with actress Kristen Bell presiding over the ceremony.Viola Davis
Viola Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress and producer. She is the recipient of several awards, and is the first black actor to have won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award in acting, named the Triple Crown of Acting.Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, Davis began her acting career, starring in minor theater productions. After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, she won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby. She played supporting and minor roles in several films and television series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Tonya in August Wilson's King Hedley II in 2001. Davis's film breakthrough came in 2008, when her supporting role in the drama Doubt earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Greater success came to Davis in the 2010s; she won several accolades, beginning with the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role as Rose Maxson in the revival of August Wilson's play Fences. For her lead role as 1960s housemaid Aibileen Clark in the comedy-drama The Help (2011), Davis received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won a SAG Award. In 2014, Davis began playing lawyer Annalise Keating in the ABC television drama series How to Get Away with Murder, and in 2015, she became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance. In 2016, Davis played Amanda Waller in the superhero film Suicide Squad and reprised the role of Rose Maxson in the film adaptation of Fences, the latter of which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2018, Davis starred as Veronica Rawlings in Steve McQueen's heist film Widows.
Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, are founders of the production company, JuVee Productions. Davis is also widely recognized for her advocacy and support of human rights and equal rights for women and women of color. She identifies as a feminist. In 2012 and 2017, she was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.Writers Guild of America
The Writers Guild of America is the joint efforts of two different US labor unions representing TV and film writers:
The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), headquartered in New York City.
The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), headquartered in Los Angeles.Writers Guild of America Award
The Writers Guild of America Awards for outstanding achievements in film, television, radio and video game (added in 2008) writing, including both fiction and non-fiction categories, have been presented annually by the Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America, West since 1949. In 2004, the awards show was broadcast on television for the first time.