Spring 2018

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26 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2018 | C T he disturbing revelations of pervasive sexual harassment that emerged late last year have served as a clarion call to the industry, and SAG-AFTRA is taking the lead to combat misconduct, launching initiatives on several fronts. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris has been leading the charge, undertaking numerous efforts on members' behalf. She formed a commission to examine safety and harassment, is building partnerships with other unions and industry organizations, worked to strengthen available tools for people to report acts of harassment, and much more. The overarching effort is called the Four Pillars of Change, and it calls for establishing clear rules and guidelines, empowering members through education, expanded intervention, and building bridges and safety nets (see opposite page). "We unequivocally condemn workplace harassment in all its forms," Carteris and National Executive Director David White said in a letter to members. "We are committed to finding solutions to ensure a safe work environment for our members wherever they work across the globe." SAG-AFTRA's first step has been the creation of the Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment. It outlines members' rights when they are the victims of harassment as well as providing a clear set of expectations for members' behavior when they are acting in the capacity of an employer on their own projects. The Code also addresses work in nontraditional worksites, an issue that affects many members. For instance, when actors are attending film festivals to promote films they worked on, they are there in a professional capacity, and it is an employers' responsibility to ensure they OCT. 9 SAG-AFTRA releases a statement decrying the serial abuse allegedly perpetrated by producer Harvey Weinstein and reiterates the union's zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment. OCT. 26 SAG-AFTRA authors a declaration at the Executive Committee meeting of the International Federation of Actors, urging the entertainment industry around the world to "develop a long-term strategy to achieve a discrimination, harassment and retaliation- free work environment." The declaration is approved unanimously. OCT. 13 The union sends an email to members with a reminder about its Safety Hotline and ways to connect with important resources. SAG-AFTRA Targets Harassment in the Industry and Beyond Continues on page 28 ulture hange are safe from harassment and assault, just as they would be on set. A crucial element of the Code of Conduct addresses behavior when members witness sexual harassment. Called "Stop. Support. Report.," it seeks to change the culture in which harassment is tolerated. As with every significant action the union undertakes, it's the power of the collective action of the members that is the key to success. The Code states, "To end the pervasive culture of inaction and silence, we must not look the other way. We must intervene to stop the conduct when we can, support those who speak up, and report the conduct." A timeline of change at press time.

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