Driven by the #MeToo movement and the recent wave of attention on sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, the union representing actors and other artists announced Sunday that it is working with groups and professionals to develop a set of standards for the depiction of on-screen intimacy.
“Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for our members doing hyper-exposed work. At a time when the industry still needs to make great changes, our initiative will ensure the safety and security of SAG-AFTRA members while they work and respects the boundaries of actors.”
SAG-AFTRA will work with Alicia Rodis, the associate director and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, and other “trained providers to standardize, codify and implement guidelines for on-set intimacy coordinators,” the union said in a statement released Sunday. The guidelines will “seek to establish new, relevant policies for nudity and simulated sex; define the duties and standards for intimacy coordinators on productions; and specify acceptable training, vetting and qualifications of intimacy coordinators.”
The union’s executive director, David White, added: “These specifically implemented guidelines will allow productions to run more efficiently while the specialized support empowers both cast and crew. We look forward to working with our industry partners and allies to ensure these guidelines work for our members and others on set. Many productions are already using intimacy coordinators so it is imperative to codify and standardize the work to best benefit SAG-AFTRA members and the industry as a whole.”
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals.