Award shows have the important role this year of acting as platforms for conversations around Hollywood's problem with sexual misconduct. The Golden Globes saw the debut of Time's Up, a movement and legal fund for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, observed by actors and actresses wearing all black. Now, the Screen Actors Guild Awards provided the opportunity for presenters Brie Larson and Lupita Nyong'o to publicly announce the news that SAG-AFTRA is working on a new code of conduct in an effort to stop anyone from ever having to say #MeToo again.
"It gives us joy to celebrate portrayals...that show human nature with all its imperfections, and to do so with a union whose job it is to protect actors as they do that job," Nyong'o said on stage Sunday night.
"Which is why we're so excited to say that — with collaborations with Time's Up and your union members here in this room — there will be a new code of conduct to ensure that there is safety on set," added Larson. "So we can continue to be vulnerable, continue to be emphatic, and do the strong and great performances that we've seen brief glimpse of here tonight."
According to Variety, who first reported the news on Friday, the union saw an average of five reports of sexual harassment a day, a huge jump from what they saw before October, when allegations against Harvey Weinstein started the #MeToo reckoning.
"As we approach the awards show weekend, we are receiving more questions about SAG-AFTRA’s efforts to address the issue of harassment and inequity in our industry," President Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White previously said in a message. "We welcome the attention and are thrilled with the forceful initiatives now underway to eradicate this terrible disease that is pervasive in our society and industry...It is important that you know that SAG-AFTRA is directly engaged in these efforts, and that we are continuing to expand our own efforts to address the issue through our own channels."
On Friday, the Producers Guild of America released similar guidelines, and announced that Wonder Woman 2 will be the first film to follow these new policies. Plus, Carey Mulligan noted to Variety that the theatre world is also making changes.
"Vicky Featherstone, who’s the artistic director [at the Royal Court Theatre in London], when this movement began last year, really led the charge in terms of theatre and now there’s a code of conduct, and everyone has to read it on the first day of rehearsal," she said in a video for the site. "That’s a palpable change."
These steps are long overdue, and we're ready to see the world they make happen.
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