SAG-AFTRA, the union representing about 160,000 actors and other performers, is trying a new approach to protect its members from sexual harassment amid a wider reckoning in Hollywood over misconduct.
The Los Angeles Times reports the guild released a code of conduct on Saturday that outlines best practices for the handling of workplace sexual harassment. Its slogan: “STOP. SUPPORT. REPORT.”
The seven-page code — which is effective immediately — defines the different types of harassment that performers face, explains the obligations of employers with respect to mistreatment, and offers recommendations for reporting abuse, among other elements.
The code was unveiled at a meeting of SAG-AFTRA’s board of directors in Los Angeles. It supplements existing rules governing workplace conduct that are part of the union’s master contract.
The guild’s effort comes as other show business groups — following the disclosures of alleged sexual misconduct of dozens of high-profile Hollywood figures — are also examining their rules and regulations. The Producers Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have each released new guidelines for members’ conduct in recent months.
The code is part of a new initiative by the union to ensure safe working environments for performers. In a letter to union members, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White said that the multi-year effort would “yield sustained improvements to the safety and treatment of our members as they work and pursue employment.”
All very nice, but in the high-power world of fame and money, will any of this matter?