Entertainment industry union SAG-AFTRA has released a code of conduct that aims to protect its members from sexual harassment in the workplace, following the recent accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse within the world of film and TV.
Unveiled on Saturday, the code, which is billed as “a call to action,” states that employers must provide a harassment-free workplace and ensure they have procedures in place for reporting it without fear of retaliation.
It also says that the laws and rules which employers must abide by are equally applicable to members acting as producers or supervisors. On top of that, members are encouraged to support those who speak out, to actively stop any inappropriate behaviour or misconduct witnessed, and report violations.
Recognizing the difficulty of reporting harassment, especially in cases where the employer is a short-lived production company, the code states that “SAG-AFTRA will be working with the Industry to advocate for and help develop an Industry-wide reporting mechanism.”
In the meantime, the union has provided a number of resources and information for members wishing to report sexual harassment, including its 24-hour hotline.
“To truly change the culture we must be courageous and willing,” said SAG-AFTRA president and actress Gabrielle Carteris in a statement. “At its most basic, this Code will ultimately help better define what harassment is, and what members’ rights are in real-world situations.”
SAG-AFTRA was formed in 2012 after the merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and represents around 160,000 members of the entertainment industry, including actors, journalists, and radio personalities.