Q4 2017

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94 CINEMONTAGE / Q4 2017 compiled by Jeff Burman S exual misconduct charges against Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein began in early October, when the board of The Weinstein Company, which he founded with his brother Bob, dismissed him after lurid complaints about his behavior — going back decades — emerged in The New York Times and The New Yorker. With each passing week, Weinstein has been joined by others in an increasing cavalcade of disgraced Hollywood men (James Toback, Andy Dick, Brett Ratner, Roy Price, David Guillod, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor...) as allegations continue to surface. The union that represents many of those directly affected by Weinstein's abuses, SAG-AFTRA, quickly condemned his alleged harassment and went further, calling the practice prevalent. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein, saying, "The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over." AMPAS also banned him for life from the organization. The Producers Guild and the Television Academy also banished Weinstein in late October and early November, respectively. Our union, IATSE, condemned sexual discrimination and harassment, saying that it "advocates for respectful work environments and adheres to anti-harassment, anti- discrimination and anti-bullying workplaces." In mid-October, LucasFilm executive Kathleen Kennedy suggested a remedy for the "terrible and terrifying stories of sexual harassment and assault in the film industry that have dominated the news." She suggested the establishment of a commission to change the culture of Hollywood, with "zero-tolerance policies for abusive behavior and a secure, reliable, unimpeachable system in which victims of abuse can report what's happened to them with a confident expectation that action will be taken, without placing their employment, reputation and career at risk." Clearly what's called for is a programmatic, industry-wide standard of accountability to address the culture of fear and abuse long acknowledged as an "open secret." This is exactly the kind of abuse of power that trade unions are well suited to handle. Historically, unions have taken a stand against dangerous workplaces, and exploitation through abusive schedules and low pay. Sexual harassment should be no different. At press time, New York prosecutors were developing "a strong criminal case" against Weinstein. REAGAN TO BE INDUCTED INTO LABOR'S HALL OF HONOR? "Isn't it weird that someone who could contend for the title of America's Greatest Union Buster will be inducted into the Labor Department's Hall of Honor?" writes Joe Davidson in The Washington Post in mid-September. The union representing Labor Department employees says honoring former President Ronald Reagan is "shocking." President Donald Trump's second Labor Department Secretary, Alexander Acosta, thinks inducting Reagan is a wonderful idea. So does the Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City, the union that suggested he be so honored. No date for the induction has been proposed. LABOR MAT TERS Weinstein Scandal Could Be Industry Game-Changer

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