The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has called for an end to auditions in private hotel rooms or houses in response to the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations across the industry.
“To help protect members from potential harassment and exploitation, SAG-AFTRA released today a Guideline that calls for an end to the practice of holding professional meetings in private hotel rooms or residences,” the union said in a statement.
The union, which represents around 160,000 actors, broadcasters, and recording artists, urged producers to voluntarily stop the practice and make additional arrangements to protect auditionees in cases where there is “no reasonable alternative.”
“[The guideline] calls upon producers and other decision makers to refrain from holding professional meetings in hotel rooms and private residences,” it continues. “It also urges members and their representatives not to agree to professional meetings in these high-risk locations.”
“In the rare event that there is no reasonable alternative to having the meeting in such a location, Guideline No. 1 establishes the concept of a ‘Support Peer’ to accompany the member during the meeting.”
The call follows the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations that have swept the industry encompassing dozens of actors, producers, directors, and other influential figures. Many of the alleged incidents took place in hotel rooms or private residences.
“We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting,” added SAF-AFTRA president, Gabrielle Carteris.
In February, the union issued a code of conduct in an attempt to reduce levels of sexual harassment that it claims will “ultimately help better define what harassment is, and what members’ rights are in real-world situations.”