Reacting to the sexual-misconduct and abuse scandals that have rocked the entertainment industry, Hollywood’s largest acting union called Thursday for an end to the practice of holding auditions or business meetings in hotel rooms or private homes.
“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 Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA.
The union issued a code of conduct guideline calling on producers and other studio decision-makers “to stop holding professional meetings in these high-risk locations and find alternative, appropriate locations for professional meetings.
“Furthermore, we call on SAG-AFTRA members and their representatives to stop agreeing to professional meetings in these high-risk locations.”
The guideline states that if there is “no reasonable alternative forum for a professional meeting, we strongly encourage members go only with the support of a second individual, of their own choosing, who attends the meeting to serve as a `support peer.”’
The guideline is a direct response to sexual-misconduct and assault allegations by dozens of actress who have come forward with stories of mistreatment by producers or Hollywood executives. Most notably among the alleged perpetrators is disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused by dozens of women of misconduct, often perpetrated in hotel rooms.
According to SAG-AFTRA, the guideline is a reflection of the union’s “dedication to upholding professional standards and addressing the unprofessional and unlawful workplace culture that too many of our members face.”