×

SAG-AFTRA Releases Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment for Members

SAG-AFTRA has released a “Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment” instructing  its 160,000 members how to deal with the issue.

The union made the announcement Saturday night following a meeting of its national board. President Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White disclosed on Jan. 19  that the union was developing a such code  in a message sent to members of the national board.

Saturday’s announcement asserted that the code is part of a broader program to protect its members and to confront harassment and advance equity in the workplace. The code defines sexual harassment and details what constitutes a hostile work environment, retaliation, and other types of prohibited conduct. It also sets forth employers’ legal obligations under both the union’s contracts and the law, including the need to provide reporting mechanisms through which members can report instances of sexual harassment.

Additonally, the code makes it clear that SAG-AFTRA members will refrain from engaging in harassing conduct. And it announced “Four Pillars of Change” to achieve the union’s goals.

Popular on Variety

“To truly change the culture we must be courageous and willing,” Carteris said. “At its most basic, this Code will ultimately help better define what harassment is, and what members’ rights are in real world situations. We are going further, however, with the launch of our Four Pillars of Change initiative to achieve safe workplaces and advance equity.”

White said, “This initiative provides a critical framework for our collective efforts to further strengthen protections for SAG-AFTRA members who experience harassment in the workplace. Our comprehensive approach ensures that we stay focused on providing members with clear information, making training available that is relevant and practical, and working with industry partners to expand our tools to intervene and support victims of workplace harassment and assault. We are very excited to engage in this effort.”

The “Four Pillars of Change” include rules and guidelines, empowerment through education, expanded intervention efforts, and building bridges and safety nets. “This initiative gives members a clear understanding of their workplace rights and provides reliable guidance for members to navigate the unique environments of the entertainment, music and media industries,” Carteris said.

Carteris has been active on the issue since October’s bombshell allegations about disgraced executive Harvey Weinstein.  She issued a condemnation of Weinstein a few days after the first story broke, headed a panel in Los Angeles on Nov. 14 with Gloria Allred and another three days later in New York. She’s also persuaded the AFL-CIO executive council and the Intl. Federation of Actors to increase their efforts to deal with the problem.

Carteris and White have said previously that the number of reports of sexual harassment that come into SAG-AFTRA have been averaging at least five a day — far above the level prior to October.

Carteris told Variety in December that she had been sexually harassed many times. She’s best known for portraying the valedictorian and school newspaper editor Andrea Zuckerman on the long-running series “Beverly Hills, 90210” and has also appeared in “Touched by an Angel,” “King of the Hill,” “NYPD Blue,” “JAG” and “Criminal Minds.”

The union posted the code on its web site along with a message from Carteris and White that began: 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.

More Film

  • Running on Empty

    Berlin: Lisa Weber on Empathy and Courage in Her Panorama Doc 'Running on Empty'

    Nineteen-year-old Claudia lives with her mother, brother and four-year-old son in a public housing complex in Vienna, with no job, no prospects on the horizon, and the present slipping by in a series of uneventful days. But in “Running on Empty,” which premiered Feb. 25 in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival, director Lisa [...]

  • Evgenia Markova

    Berlin: New Roskino CEO Evgenia Markova Moves to Boost Russian Film Biz

    With relations between Russia and the U.S. growing frostier amid renewed allegations of election interference by Moscow ahead of the 2020 presidential polls, the new head of Russian movie support agency Roskino is banking on a thaw, as the country unveils a host of measures to lure foreign productions and boost the growing Russian film [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Rob Schneider To Star in and Direct Spanish-Language Comedy ‘Amor es Amor’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BERLIN — Teaming two of the most energetic players on the new Spanish-language content scene, El Estudio and Infinity Hill are teaming to produce “Amor es Amor,” Rob Schneider’s Spanish-language movie debut as both an actor and director. A comedy, “Amor es Amor” turns on Enrique Juarez, an up-and-coming Mexican telenovela actor on the verge [...]

  • Pari

    Berlin: Siamak Etemadi on Finding His Path in Panorama Player 'Pari'

    Stunned to discover that her son has vanished while studying abroad in Athens, an Iranian woman sets off on a desperate search across the Greek capital to find him. Navigating a foreign and forbidding landscape, she’s forced to also travel deep within herself, uncovering buried truths and offering a chance for her own reinvention. “Pari” [...]

  • Cocoon of Stone

    Japan’s Wowow Makes Move Into Theatrical Releasing (EXCLUSIVE)

    Japanese pay-TV leader Wowow is to expand into theatrical releasing. The company made its theatrical buying debut this week at the Berlin Film Festival’s accompanying European Film Market. With linear channels and a movie-driven on-demand service, Wowow is already one of the leading consumers of movie content in Japan, and boasts 2.8 million subscribers. These [...]

  • Stormtroopers'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' film

    What Disney’s CEO Shake-Up Means for Its Movie Business

    After rocking a quiet Tuesday afternoon with news of leadership changes at the very top of the Walt Disney Corporation, attention has turned to respective divisions at the Hollywood superpower — and to what the side-stepping of Bob Iger and ascension of new CEO Bob Chapek might mean for the future. This includes Disney’s Goliath [...]

  • Jeremy Renner

    John Ottman Hosts Jeremy Renner, Michael Keaton, More at 'Aiding Australia' Benefit

    Film editor and composer John Ottman, who won an Oscar for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2019, hosted members of the film, television and music communities at the “Aiding Australia” charity dinner and concert held at his West Hollywood home on Sunday evening (Feb. 23). The benefit raised funds to help in the recovery of fire-ravaged Australia, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content