Hollywood unions team up to fight against sexual harassment

Los Angeles: A slew of Hollywood labour unions have come together to pledge to combat workplace harassment.

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Actors Equity, the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America East, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees made the announcement Thursday – more than a year after revelations about disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein rocked the entertainment industry and gave a boost to the #MeToo movement.

The Department of Professional Employees (DPE) of AFL-CIO said the pledge grew out of a December 13 meeting of a dozen unions, which pledged to share contract language, training resources, codes of conduct, and best practices to enhance the individual efforts of each union, reported variety.com.

“Creative professionals work side-by-side in shared workplaces, which is why their unions are committed to collaborating on industry-wide improvements,” said DPE president Jennifer Dorning.

“DPE affiliate unions representing arts, entertainment, and media professionals are committed to learning from one another in an effort to develop even more effective ways to help eliminate incidents of harassment on the job.”

The DPE also said the unions will regularly convene to ensure they live up to their pledge along with continuing their work of championing greater systemic equity, diversity, and inclusion in the creative industries.

The American Federation of Musicians and the American Guild of Musical Artists were also a part of the meeting.

SAG-AFTRA, which represents many of the key figures in the #MeToo movement, issued a “Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment” on February 10 instructing its 160,000 members on how to deal with the issue. In April, union leaders called for an end to the practice of holding professional meetings in private hotel rooms or residences.

“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 SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris at that point.