Screen Actors Guild Bans Work Meetings In Hotel Rooms & Homes

Rose McGowan wasn't being completely hyperbolic when she called Harvey Weinstein's hotel rooms "international rape factories." From audio taken during an NYPD sting operation in which Weinstein tried to intimidate model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez into being alone with him, to actress Asia Argento's harrowing assault allegations, nearly every woman who has accused the disgraced producer of misconduct has said the incidents occurred in a hotel room — often with the aid of others.
In a move to correct widespread industry collusion, actors union SAG-AFTRA released a new code of conduct in February 2018, with the intent to "[identify] real solutions and actions that help members confront harassment while securing an equitable workplace." The first guideline from that code is now being issued, and it boldly calls for an end to auditions or interviews in private hotel rooms or residences.
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"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 press release.
Instead of putting the onus on talent (who may feel pressure to go along with uncomfortable requests), the Guild places responsibility on "producers and other decision makers" as well as SAG members and their representatives to refrain from holding work meetings in "these high-risk locations."
People who wield influence will also be subject to these rules, even if they don't have high-level titles. "Guideline No. 1 is equally applicable to SAG-AFTRA members when acting in the capacity of a producer or decision maker with influence or control over decisions that can impact another’s career," the code states.
If securing an alternative space isn't possible — something the union calls a "rare event" — they ask that a Support Peer join the meeting, and that any instance of abuse be reported.
"Changing the industry’s workplace ecosystem requires action from all committed stakeholders," the guidelines add. As Me Too continues, these new guidelines are some indication that Hollywood influencers are listening.
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