Several major entertainment unions – including SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Musicians, Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, East – have banded together in a pledge to combat sexual harassment, Variety reports.
The effort announced on Thursday follows the fallout from more than a year ago involving disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (a New York judge recently rejected his lawyers’ request to throw out charges that he sexually assaulted two women), which spurred the #MeToo movement. According to the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), the team-up amongst the unions was the result of a December 13th meeting, where the groups “pledged to share contract language, training resources, codes of conduct and best practices to strengthen the individual efforts of each union to continue to improve their industries,” according to a SAG-AFTRA statement.
Over the past year, SAG-AFTRA has implemented several practices to fight sexual harassment in the workplace, including establishing a “Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment” for its members and union leaders called to end holding professional meetings in private hotel rooms and 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,” SAG-AFTRA president and actress Gabrielle Carteris stated. In August, the union members ratified a non-primetime deal with networks, which for the first time made provisions that limit auditions in hotel rooms and homes.
“Creative professionals work side-by-side in shared workspaces, which is why their unions are committed to collaborating on industry-wide improvements,” DPE president Jennifer Dorning said in a statement regarding the unions’ collective pledge. “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.”