ACTRA Toronto Council is committed to addressing the issue of sexual harassment in our industry. Here is an update on our work to date.
Safe Space Groups
ACTRA Toronto President Theresa Tova held four “safe space” groups. Tova and Special Advisor Victoria Shen have continued to receive calls each day from members coming forward with stories of past harassment. In many cases, these are stories members are telling for the first time. They are relieved to be heard and supported while they decide whether to proceed with an official complaint or not. We support them, whatever they decide. We have invited them to stay involved as much or as little as they wish.
Ad hoc advisory committee on sexual harassment
ACTRA Toronto Council, responding to a recommendation from participants in the “safe space groups,” established an ad hoc advisory committee on Sexual Harassment comprised of members who have lived this truth. The committee will provide guidance, advice and input to Council’s action plan.
Harvard Man Investigation
In response to news about the film Harvard Man, shot in Toronto in the year 2000 and directed by James Toback, we are in the process of doing a full investigation of the Harvard Man file which has been recalled from off-site storage. We expect to report on the results of that investigation as soon as next week (November 20 – 24). The former ACTRA Steward (“Business Representative” in current parlance) assigned to Harvard Man has said publicly that the union received a complaint of harassment from a female performer on that film. The Steward/Bus. Rep. moved quickly to protect the woman by ensuring that an ACTRA Toronto representative or the producer was on set (in studio and on location) with the performer at all times.
ACTRA Toronto Staff Training
Last week, ACTRA Toronto staff attended an updated sexual harassment training session.
Member Education Programs
Our education programs are being reviewed. Meetings are underway with course instructors and OSLOs to go over the content about sexual harassment and how members can bring forward complaints.
Partnerships with community experts
ACTRA Toronto is reaching out to community partners to provide counselling, legal advice and crisis support.
Ontario Union & Guild Roundtable
On November 15th, a group of Ontario unions and guilds met to discuss how the different unions and guilds can co-operate to end harassment on set.
Harassment Reporting and Investigation Protocol
Investigations of harassment complaints and our discipline process are both being expedited. Our protocol for reporting incidents of harassment has been revised and can be found on our Discrimination & Harassment Policy Page.