Actors’ Equity Association announced the formation of a committee Friday to prevent sexual harassment in theater.
The committee is meant to come up with strategies to end harassment and bullying in the industry. The formation of the committee comes after Equity held a national meeting in December to provide its members with information on sexual harassment prevention.
“Our employers have an obligation under federal law to ensure that everyone can go to work without the fear that they will be harassed,” Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity, said in a press release. “We take that obligation very seriously, and this new committee will endeavor to make sure that every Equity workplace is free from harassment and bullying.”
In November, Actors’ Equity reached out to 1,500 producers and theaters across the country, asking them to develop clear policies against harassment and read those policies out loud on the first day of production. They have also partnered with the Actors Fund on a training program related to sexual harassment.
On the heels of the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey allegations, members of the Broadway community have pushed for clear sexual harassment policies that apply industrywide, regardless of union affiliation.
Actor Marin Ireland took matters into her own hands late last year and developed a pilot program in which members of the theater community can call mediators to talk through issues of sexual harassment that may not merit a formal complaint.
Actors’ Equity is also hosting a panel discussion for stage managers in June to discuss sexual harassment prevention.