SAG-AFTRA submitted new sexual harassment guidelines to help prevent Harvey Weinstein’s alleged tactic
Work meetings should be held in public, not private.
That’s what the actors union SAG-AFTRA is calling for in implementing new guidelines to prevent auditions from being held in discrete and often unprofessional locations such as private hotel rooms and homes — a tactic that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein allegedly used often to sexually harass and violate women.
On Thursday, SAG-AFTRA issued a new guideline that will ask “producers and other decision makers” to stop holding auditions, interviews and meetings in such “high-risk locations,” and urges actors and their reps to refuse appointments in such settings, according to the press release. The union also suggests taking “support peers” or trusted colleagues to business meetings that might feel uncomfortable.
A number of stars have come forward with stories of alleged sexual misconduct that took place during meetings held behind closed doors. Before shooting “Emma” when she was 22, Gwyneth Paltrow said she was summoned to Weinstein’s hotel suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills for a work meeting, but the producer reportedly got handsy with her, suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages. “Pulp Fiction” star Rosanna Arquette, leading French actress Judith Godrèche and Angelina Jolie have similar accounts of late night meetings with Weinstein that allegedly crossed the line.
“We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting,” said Gabrielle Carteris, the SAG-AFTRA president, in a statement.
The guidelines also suggest that meetings and castings done outside the studio should be conducted during daytime business hours or by phone.
This new guideline is the first expansion of SAG-AFTRA’s new code of conduct to fight sexual harassment. The code, unveiled in February, defines types of sexual harassment, education, safety initiatives and employers’ responsibility to support victims in need. The film “Wonder Woman 2” will be the first movie to carry out the anti-sexual harassment guidelines (the film’s producer Brett Ratner was accused of sexual misconduct by several women and won’t return for the sequel).
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