The Screen Actors Guild has issued guidelines to film and television industry members in Hollywood urging them to stop holding meetings in “high-risk locations” such as hotel rooms or private spaces, Variety reported. Thursday’s recommendations come in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct and rape against prominent Hollywood personalities, including producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually assaulting female assistants and actors in hotel rooms.
SAG-AFTRA, the labour union for actors in film and television, has reportedly been receiving an average of five reports of sexual misconduct a day since the allegations surfaced in October. “We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement.
“SAG-AFTRA opposes auditions, interviews and similar professional meetings from taking place in private hotel rooms or at private residences,” the guideline reads. “We call on producers and other decision makers with influence or control over decisions that can impact a career, 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.”
In the rare event that a meeting cannot take place in a formal setting, the document advocates the presence of a “support peer”. The union said that all professionals, including SAG-AFTRA members, are expected to take steps to eliminate sexual harassment and assault from the workplace.
SAG-AFTRA had also issued a detailed Code of Conduct in February instructing its members on how to understand and report sexual harassment at the workplace.