Noting that talent agents can be “first responders” in matters involving the sexual harassment of their clients, the Association of Talent Agents today sent a notice to its members on the group’s continuing efforts to “eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination in our industry.”
The notice, from ATA executive director Karen Stuart, says that “the ATA board believes we can play a unique and important role by offering a blended educational/training program designed to meet our members’ day-to-day needs.” Read the full statement below.
The ATA is the latest Hollywood group to address the ever-widening sexual harassment scandal. Earlier today, the DGA issued procedures for handling harassment complaints, and the WGA West issued a “Statement of Principles on Sexual Harassment” that will “form the basis of our policies and actions going forward.” Last week, SAG-AFTRA said it is forming a Sexual Harassment Work Group and earlier said it is developing a Code of Conduct to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. The Producers Guild, which formed Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force in October and recently issued guidelines that were approved unanimously during a special meeting of the guild’s board of directors.
Here is the Stuart’s full letter to ATA members:
I am writing to bring you up to date on ATA’s continuing efforts to eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination in our industry.
The ATA board believes we can play a unique and important role by offering a blended educational/training program designed to meet our members’ day-to-day needs. The fact is, talent agents can find themselves in the position of “first responders” when a client makes a complaint about sexual harassment. And when the complaint concerns someone other than an employee of their agency, they may not know how to respond appropriately. With this in mind, ATA has reached out to our industry partners and, with their help, is creating an ATA group member training session, along with a best-practice framework to which our members can refer when faced with these kinds of situations.
ATA’s blended training and educational session is meant to complement — not replace or amend — whatever in-house training programs you may already offer at your individual company. Our goal is to work in concert with our members, outside organizations, and industry partners – as well as the larger anti-harassment movement – in sharing and coordinating information and action. To this end, I am proud to be a Commissioner and a working delegate on the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace being chaired by Anita Hill.
You will receive a more detailed notice about the upcoming three-hour group ATA training and sexual harassment prevention session soon.
Help us determine the right size venue by informing me as to (i) the number of people you expect to attend from your agency, and (ii) if you prefer 9:00 am to noon or noon to 3:00 pm.
I look forward to seeing you.