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Hollywood Guild Leaders Address Their Roles In Ending Sexual Harassment And Abuse

November 17, 2017 (20:53) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

November 17, 2017 6:23pm
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SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, speaking tonight in New York at a panel discussion on sexual harassment, said that the union and its members will play a key role in changing not only the industry’s attitudes about harassment and abuse but the global culture’s as well.

“This is an important conversation, and it is a conversation that we at SAG-AFTRA are going to be having on a regular basis,” she said at the event sponsored by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. “This is not an issue of our industry; this is systemic within our culture and on a global level. We must empower our members, not only to be able to protect themselves when something is happening and to give them voice and take them out of the isolation and that feeling of shame but how do we go and protect our members and so they have voice to prevent things from happening.

“This is an ongoing night of empowerment as we move through this process,” Carteris added. “We are changing within our industry. We have to be able to speak of what is happening so that we can change our culture. … I look forward to us changing the culture, because that’s what we must do if we want to change things for the better.”

This is the second time this week that Carteris has introduced a panel on the issue. On Wednesday, she said sounded a similar theme, saying, “By working together, we can absolutely change our culture.”

Attorney Laura Schnell said that the EEOC and the federal courts recognize that “sexual harassment is a kind of sex discrimination in employment,” and that there are two types of sexual harassment.

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The first type, she said, is quid pro quo – “You sleep with me and you get the job, or you don’t sleep with me and you don’t get the job.”

The second type, she said, involves unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is “severe or pervasive” and creates a hostile work environment.

“We are in crisis mode,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA East, who noted that some of those who have been accused are members of the guild. “These are not garden-variety grievance situations. This is a situation that can be extremely complicated emotionally, and let’s be honest with ourselves: It can be a member who is involved.”

The guild, he said, is looking at the broader issue of sexual harassment “from the perspective of what is it that the members expect and need, and what are the members themselves willing to do. Our first step is to talk extensively with our members. We are going to do a survey of our members; we are going to have meetings with our members. The second thing we’re going to do is make sure our staff is trained, as we will be making resources available to our members.”

Lydia Pilcher, the Producers Guild’s national vp, motion pictures, said the images that Hollywood creates have contributed to a culture of discrimination, harassment and abuse.

“We do know that our culture resides in the realm of ideas and images and stories and it is really the narrative that we live in every day,” she said. “So the idea that the normalization of hypersexualized female images, roles [and] stories on screen is very much connected to discrimination and sexual abuse. It is real.”

Adam Moore, SAG-AFTRA’s national director of EEO and diversity, noted that sexual harassment and abuse is “societal” and not limited to the entertainment industry but that it is “certainly the most visible.”

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“People see these [actors] and see these stories,” he said. “They’re in our homes, and you grow up with these people and there’s a connection that doesn’t happen in other workplace situations that are closed to folks in that visible way.”

Because of that, he said, “there is a special obligation for those in this industry to really recognize that there is a leadership role to be played, to not only let people know what is available to them in terms of recourse and recovery from the trauma that they experience but also to try to have that culture shift – to use the work that we are all a part of — to really change the narrative, to give people alternative examples about normative relationships, what’s OK and what’s not.”

Lillian Gallina, social work supervisor at the Actors Fund, said that the Fund and its resources are available to anyone in the industry who has experienced sexual harassment or abuse.

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And the Heat goes on!!!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Gloria Allred, Lisa Vidal Speak On Sexual Harassment “Epidemic” At SAG-AFTRA Panel Discussion

November 14, 2017 (21:53) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

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More than half of the more than 150 performers attending tonight’s SAG-AFTRA panel discussion on sexual harassment said they’d been sexually harassed in the workplace.

Attorney Gloria Allred, in her opening remarks at the union’s James Cagney Boardroom, asked the overflow crowd if they’d experienced sexual harassment first hand. More than half raised their hands.

She asked how many had experienced unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Again, more than half raised their hands,.

She asked how many had been subjected to verbal abuse of a sexual nature. Again, more than half raised their hands.

She asked how many had been subjected to unwanted touching or sexual assault. Again, more than half.

She asked how many had been retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, and only about a quarter raised their hands. But when she asked how many had not filed complains because of the fear of retaliation, more than half again raised their hands.

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Allred’s unscientific survey didn’t distinguish between industry and non-industry workplaces where the harassment and assault occurred, but the responses from the crowd offered more evidence of what SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris called an “epidemic.”

Carteris, however, noted in her opening remarks that “this is not just a Hollywood situation — this is systemic throughout our culture…And this is not just in our culture, it’s global.”

Carteris said that the panel discussion, titled “Beyond the Headlines: A Conversation on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Entertainment Industry,” is just the first in a series the union will be holding.

She also suggested that the union and its high-profile members could play a major roll in changing the culture of abuse. “By working together,” she said, “we can absolutely change our culture.”

Panelist Lisa Vidal recalled that when she was 19, she was sent to an audition where the only thing in the room was a mattress. She got out of there fast and told her agent to never put her in that kind of dangerous situation again.

From tonight’s show of hands, most of the women in the room could tell a similar — or worse — story.

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Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Veterans Day Salute

November 10, 2017 (21:26) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

We salute ALL Veterans especially those who paid the ultimate price!

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Los Angeles DA’s Office Sets Up Task Force To Probe Hollywood Sex Abuse Claims

November 9, 2017 (20:42) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has established a special task to force to look into allegations of sexual assault in the entertainment industry. Despite the growing number of allegations, however, no crimes have been referred for prosecution to the DA’s office by local law enforcement agencies.

“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution,” Lacey said in a statement. “I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.

“To date, we have not received any cases from law enforcement for possible criminal filing,” she continued. We are in communication with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments.”

The move, of course, comes amid a flood of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against a number of men in Hollywood since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. Accusations have surfaced against such prominent figures Hollywood as Louis C.K.Kevin SpaceyBrett RatnerJeremy PivenDustin HoffmanJames TobackSteven Seagal and Jefferey Tambor. Actor Terry Crews on Wednesday filed a crime report with the LAPD over an alleged sexual abuse incident at a Hollywood event last year.

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Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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Gloria Allred to Lead SAG-AFTRA Panel Discussion on Sexual Harassment

November 9, 2017 (11:38) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

Attorney Gloria Allred and SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris will lead a panel discussion for guild members about sexual harassment and abuse.The event, to be held on Nov. 14 at the union’s national headquarters in Los Angeles, is only open to dues-current members with no guests allowed. It’s titled “Beyond the Headlines: A Conversation on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Entertainment Industry.”Allred has represented several women who have accused disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, including Heather Kerr, Louisette Geiss, and Mimi Haleyi. SAG-AFTRA blasted Weinstein on Oct. 9, calling his behavior “abhorrent and unacceptable.”On Oct. 5, a story in the New York Times detailed accusations that Weinstein sexually harassed a number of women, including actress Ashley Judd. Kate Winslet, Jessica Chastain, Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, and Glenn Close have all denounced the producer.

“Ms. Allred will share the facts, dispel the myths surrounding sexual harassment, and lead a discussion on empowering members to assert their rights and identify meaningful steps and actions we can take to develop best practices in creating a safer industry,” the union said.

Panelists include director Niki Caro, assistant director/producer Liz Tan, actress Lisa Vidal, and casting director Debra Zane.

“This is a place for you to feel safe, educate each other, and share tools of empowerment,” SAG-AFTRA said. “This is the first in a series of conversations with and for our membership on the issue of sexual harassment.”

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

Headline Photo selected by Watchdog

 

 

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