Transparent has always been deeply personal for Soloway: Their parent is transgender, and Soloway recently came out as non-binary and began using gender-neutral pronouns, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. (Last season also included a storyline about a character coming out as non-binary.) So, fortunately it appears the show will go on without Tambor and writers are exploring ways to proceed without the main character.
But during a panel at Vulture Festival L.A. yesterday, Soloway suggested implementing new on-set rules in order to protect cast members and crews everywhere.
Soloway emphasized that they've always done their best to make their sets "safe," but the recent slew of sexual misconduct allegations throughout Hollywood has caused them to re-think specific rules.
"What if we don’t have sex with people at work?" Soloway suggested, as reported by Vulture. "We don’t talk about sex at work, and we don’t touch people at work. Just to try it. I don’t know if it’s going to work. But you just check before you give somebody a hug." Their idea mirrors the idea of "yes means yes" consent, a policy that (until now) has mostly been discussed on college campuses.
Although Tambor won't return to Transparent, Soloway's suggestion is worth a try on every TV and movie set. As they say, there's no guarantee that it will work, but I don't see the harm in trying. It's clear that sexual misconduct has affected women and men of all ages in the industry, and certain questionable behaviors have even been made public. For example, 15-year-old Sadie Sink of Stranger Things recently recounted being pressured into a kiss that wasn't in the script and the Duffer brothers laughed as she described her anxiety. Although their behavior isn't illegal, it's certainly incredibly unprofessional and insensitive.
Prior to the allegations against Tambor, Soloway spoke out about sexual harassment in Hollywood, saying that the recent revelations prove the need for scripts where women tell their own stories. "In this moment, with what's going on with women's stories, I think the thing I was struck with the most over the weekend was, not only have men told most of the stories, but they’ve invested money in getting women not to tell their stories," they said at a TV Game Changers panel in October.
I say "yes!" to both of Soloway's suggestions.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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