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Writers Guild of America West to Survey Members About Sexual Harassment

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America West have issued a survey to its 10,000 members to measure the extent of sexual harassment they have experienced or witnessed.

“You are invited to take a survey created to evaluate the extent of sexual harassment in our workplaces, and the challenges writers face when experiencing or witnessing it. We also need to understand how well or badly our employers are doing (or have done in the past) in dealing with complaints,” said the missive, sent out Tuesday.

The message went out two weeks after the union declared that it has a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment. The WGA leaders first responded to the cascade of sexual harassment allegations on Oct. 14, nine days after the bombshell accusations against disgraced ex-mogul Harvey Weinstein, saying at the time that the guild was “in solidarity with the women who have spoken out about the abuses they’ve suffered.”

Members were told in Tuesday’s message that their responses would remain confidential. The missive was signed by president David A. Goodman, VP Marjorie David, secretary-treasurer Aaron Mendelsohn, and the WGA West Board of Directors. It reads:

Dear Member,

You are invited to take a survey created to evaluate the extent of sexual harassment in our workplaces, and the challenges writers face when experiencing or witnessing it. We also need to understand how well or badly our employers are doing (or have done in the past) in dealing with complaints. Your responses will determine the number and nature of the questions you will be asked. Even if you have never witnessed or experienced sexual harassment, we would like to hear your ideas about how the Guild can address the problem.

Please note that this questionnaire deals only with sexual harassment as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It doesn’t ask about other forms of workplace harassment, pay disparity or discrimination based on other unlawful grounds, such as race or gender or age. These are related problems, of course, and work on them is ongoing at the Guild. Our goal with this survey is to isolate and respond to a specific, dangerous, and timely problem so that we can move to find effective solutions both in our role as a labor union and in cooperation with other industry groups. The aggregated results will help the Board do that going forward.

Your responses will be confidential.

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