The top below-the-line unions have issued strong statements condemning sexual harassment, joining the creative guilds in the latest response to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.
The Hollywood Teamsters union and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees published the statements on their web sites two weeks after the Oct. 5 disclosure in a New York Times article detailing the settlements of eight lawsuits against Weinstein, including those filed by Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. The expose has prompted dozens of women to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
“Sexual Harassment in the workplace is not to be tolerated or taken lightly,” said Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters. “In light of the recent reports regarding the alleged harassment of many A-List actresses by Harvey Weintstein, we must not forget that sexual harassment will not be tolerated towards ANY hardworking women or men on set. “
“Sadly, many Below-the-Line workers experience the same sort of treatment and harassment and we want to remind our Sisters & Brothers that if you feel you are being harassed by anyone on set you have every right to and should report the incident immediately to your Employer,” Dayan added.
“Should you feel your claim is not being handled properly, or feel that you are being retaliated against for reporting, I want each Member to know that you have your Union supporting you every step of the way,” he said. “No person should experience any form of harassment on set and we take any and all claims very seriously. We will assist you to the best of our ability in order to protect our Members and remedy the situation as quickly as possible.”
Dayan concluded the statement by saying: “We have a zero tolerance policy for harassment and as a Teamster you are expected to treat every crew member with respect no matter the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical disability or national origin. We are stronger together and we expect our Members to stand up for one another on and off set.”
IATSE, which represents more than 100,000 members, did not mention Weinstein by name in its statement but did commend those who have come forward.
“As a labor union, we were founded upon equality, respect, and fairness for all people,” IATSE said. “We commend the many who have courageously shared their stories of sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry, and we absolutely support their right to speak out. Members are always encouraged to contact their union or the IATSE Safety Hotline (844 IA AWARE / 844-422-9273) if they are in a situation that feels wrong or unsafe.”
IATSE also noted that 900 delegates to its national convention in July had unanimously passed a resolution condemning sexual harassment.
“We recognize that sexual harassment in the entertainment industry is not a one-time issue to confront,” the union concluded. “IATSE leaders and members are continuing to actively work together and with the larger entertainment industry to advocate for safer work environments for everyone.’
The Directors Guild of America announced Saturday that it has launched disciplinary proceedings against Weinstein, which could lead to his expulsion. The guild also strongly condemned sexual harassment, joining SAG-AFTRA, the Writers Guild of America West, and the Writers Guild of America East. The Producers Guild of America moved this week to start the process of expelling Weinstein as a PGA member.