The recent intensified focus on sexual harassment in our industry and across many sectors has exposed abuses of power that pervade workplaces across the country and beyond. We believe it also presents a unique opportunity for unprecedented change and is a call to action for us all.
We unequivocally condemn workplace harassment in all its forms. We are committed to finding solutions to ensure a safe work environment for our members wherever they work across the globe. As you will read below, we are working in partnership with industry stakeholders and other allies, and taking steps on our own to help ensure safe and equitable workplaces for all SAG-AFTRA members.
Employers have a legal and contractual obligation to provide a safe work environment and we are committed to holding them accountable.
SAG-AFTRA members also have an obligation as it relates to this issue. When acting in the capacity of a producer or supervisor, they are subject to the same laws and rules as any employer. Beyond this, we all share the expectation that our members, and all professionals, will refrain from engaging in harassing conduct and support efforts to eliminate this scourge from the workplace.
We are building a multi-faceted program to do our part to help facilitate and accelerate the industry’s culture shift towards sustainable improvements in workplace safety and equitable treatment.
Our membership includes professionals who are often placed in vulnerable, physically intimate situations. Accordingly, we have a particular responsibility to approach this issue in a comprehensive way. The Four Pillars of Change initiative, described below, encompasses steps that we believe will yield sustained improvements to the safety and treatment of our members as they work and pursue employment.
Our goals are to strengthen and clarify the rules that protect our members in their work environment, provide ongoing training to empower them and ensure they have essential tools to protect themselves while working, expand the union’s capacity to support members who face harassment, and collaborate with Industry stakeholders to expand available recourse and recovery resources for assault and harassment survivors. This is a multi-year effort that SAG-AFTRA will pursue in collaboration with Industry partners.
We believe in the power of collective action and encourage all of our members to support this effort.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF CHANGE: CONFRONTING HARASSMENT AND ADVANCING EQUITY
RULES AND GUIDELINES
SAG-AFTRA will develop materials that give members a clear understanding of their rights in the workplace and provide reliable guidance to navigate the unique environments of the entertainment and media industries. We will:
- Disseminate and clarify protections for employees, including those that flow from the law, our collective bargaining agreements, applicable policies and other regulations.
- Establish a Code of Conduct along with scenario-specific guidance that outlines best practices and offers practical insights for members on how to avoid and/or address sexual harassment in the workplace and related environments.
- Communicate clear expectations that members will refrain from harassing conduct.
- Provide guidance for members who experience or witness sexual harassment.
- Provide information for reporting sexual harassment and the resources to support members seeking assistance.
These materials will be developed in consultation with our members and with guidance from subject matter experts.
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EDUCATION
SAG-AFTRA will provide training, expert panels and other educational programming to ensure that members have practical tools available to them when confronting, experiencing or witnessing harassing behavior. We will:
- Sponsor panels and member discussions on harassment, suffering and discrimination within the industry.
- Create guides and videos to ensure the information is disseminated broadly.
- Provide enhanced anti-harassment training for SAG-AFTRA staff to strengthen the union’s ability to protect members worldwide.
SAG-AFTRA is reinforcing its capacity to intervene on members’ behalf as needed. We will:
- Expand our capacity to intervene rapidly and forcefully to protect our members against sexual harassment.
- Assess and upgrade as appropriate our intake procedures to address harassment-specific requests for support.
- Work with Industry partners to pursue technology-based solutions that facilitate safe channels to report harassing conduct, identify predators and stop repeat offenders.
- Pursue legislative and policy improvements to strengthen sexual harassment laws and work to advance equity for all SAG-AFTRA members across industries and borders.
- Where appropriate, add and/or strengthen provisions to address sexual harassment to our collective bargaining agreements.
BUILDING BRIDGES AND SAFETY NETS
In recognition of the complex nature of this pervasive problem, SAG-AFTRA will work in collaboration with Industry stakeholders and other allies to help achieve a more equitable and harassment-free workplace. We will:
- Participate in the efforts of the Industry-wide Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, with memberinitiated groups, and with other industry stakeholders that are committed to addressing these issues.
- Continue to build bridges within and beyond our industry to partner with strategic allies who are focused on these issues, including ReFrame, Times Up, the AFL-CIO, the International Federation of Actors, and others.
- Establish a specialized “Trauma Hotline” to support our members in need of advanced intake services and clinical referrals due to harassment and assault-related trauma.
- Work with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, in collaboration with sister organizations such as the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund, to provide additional counseling resources to respond to the need for acute short-term intervention.
- Work with Industry partners to address the extreme shortage of long-term therapeutic resources available to survivors in this industry.
As representatives of the 160,000 actors, broadcasters and recording artists working in entertainment, music and media around the world, SAG-AFTRA is committed to this long-range initiative to make the work environment safe for all professionals who work under our contracts.
Together, we can create lasting change that bolsters anti-harassment efforts, increases your safety and security, and advances equity for all.
To read the Code of Conduct, click here.
|Gabrielle Carteris||David White|
|National Executive Director|