SAG-AFTRA Hosts Beyond the Headlines: A Conversation on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Entertainment Industry
Panel is the First in a Series to Tackle Abuse Issues in the Entertainment Industry
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LOS ANGELES (November 15, 2017) — On Tuesday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) presented an informational forum hosted by union President Gabrielle Carteris and moderated by noted women’s rights advocate and attorney, Gloria Allred.
Allred shared facts about sexual harassment, dispelled myths and led a discussion that empowered members to assert their rights and identify meaningful steps and actions to develop best practices in creating a safer industry. Panelists included Niki Caro, Director; Liz Tan, Assistant Director/ Producer; Lisa Vidal, actor; Debra Zane, Casting Director.
The forum was the first in a series of conversations with and for SAG-AFTRA members on the issue of sexual harassment.
Said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, “Everyone in this industry has a role to play if we are to help eradicate sexual assault and harassment. This forum explored meaningful steps that we can take to develop best practices in creating a safer industry. By working together we can change the culture and further empower our members and others to speak out. The time is now.”
Adds Allred, “We have reached a tipping point. People are no longer afraid of remaining silent about their experiences so stories about sexual harassment will continue to dominate the news cycle. Sexual harassers and abusers must face the consequences of their actions.”
“When we talk about moving forward we’re talking about feeling empowered so that our lives are not driven by fear,” said actress and SAG-AFTRA National Board member Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane).
The panel discussed how the industry might change following the recent sexual harassment allegations; ways performers could empower themselves and value their work, and emphasized the importance of speaking up. “Treat people the way you want to be treated. We need to respect people in a non-hierarchical way. What’s going on is an abuse of power by those who can create jobs or give them. That must stop,” said Casting Director Debra Zane.
Said SAG-AFTRA’s National Executive Director David White, “This is a crucial conversation and I applaud President Carteris, Gloria Allred and our extraordinary panel for leading this important discussion. Tonight was the first in a series of educational and informational programs and conversations we will be holding in the coming months to empower our members. SAG-AFTRA is focused on empowering our members and driving culture change.”
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. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.