Can SAG-AFTRA actually stop sexual abuse in Hollywood?
Gabrielle Carteris has been the director of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors’ Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) for four years now, and she’s determined to make a big change in the entertainment industry. Ever since the Harvey Weinstein scandals and other #MeToo accusations, everyone has been paying close attention to everyone’s behavior in Hollywood.
Thankfully, the labor union is taking measures to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. As part of their effort to stop sexual misconduct, they released an app that makes it easier for victims to report these incidents. In addition, the app keeps a database with sexual abusers’ information.
In addition to the app, SAG-AFTRA released a guide to ensure everyone’s familiar with their rights. As amazing as this sounds, we have to ask: will it be enough to stop sexual misconduct in Hollywood? Here’s what we know about what SAG-AFTRA is doing to fight sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse in Hollywood
The Me Too movement changed the lives of women everywhere, and we owe that to the movement’s creator, Tarana Burke, along with Alyssa Milano who popularized the movement with a viral tweet. Even though it only gained international attention three years ago, we can see the aftermath today.
The movement gained attention when accusations against Harvey Weinstein came to light. After detailing her experience in a blog, Alyssa Milano tweeted “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Women began sharing their own stories with the hashtag #MeToo, including people in Hollywood.
As more & more people came forward, the reality of how prevalent sexual abuse is started to sink in. Several directors, actors, and other big celebrities were accused of inappropriate conduct. Consequently, many lost their popularity and started to face the consequence of their actions. Unfortunately, many cases still haven’t received a fair outcome.
As a consequence of the plethora of accusations, SAG-AFTRA came up with an app that allows users to report sexual misconduct in the workplace. The app is launching this month for beta testing. The final version is expected to be available later this year.
In addition to the app, SAG-AFTRA came up with guidelines to ensure actors are aware of their rights when it comes to nudity or sex scenes for roles. The guide is titled Sex, Nudity and You and is available online.
The guide goes into detail about what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to auditions & shootings. For instance, actors should never be asked to remove their clothes for an audition, and sex scenes can only be agreed upon beforehand as no changes can be made once shooting starts.
Will it be enough?
The Me Too movement on its own made it harder for abusers to engage in inappropriate behavior. As people started to come forward with their stories, others started to feel supported and reconsidered instances of abuse they may have ignored at first.
Both the app and the guidelines are huge steps to ensure workplace harassment comes to an end. These tools will make it easier for people to identify inappropriate behavior, which might actually make abusers think twice before trying to step over the lines.
While we hope that everything SAG-AFTRA is doing will help in the long run, it’s hard to tell how efficient the app will be. However, even if this isn’t the panacea to sexual harassment in Hollywood, Gabrielle Carteris is definitely making the right decision by trying to find solutions to empower victims and remind them they’re not alone.