In the wake of sexual-assault allegations that have sunk the careers of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer and others, Time’s Up has released a set of safety guidelines detailing how workers in the entertainment industry can protect themselves.
The new rule book, titled the Entertainment Safety Initiative, addresses a variety of concerns emerging from survivor testimonies and Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement, such as how to handle inappropriate comments, casting-couch incidents, nude or intimate scenes and reporting misconduct. A series of free references is now available for download on the Time’s Up website.
Since the #MeToo movement first rocked Hollywood in 2017, Time’s Up has provided a slew of resources for employees in the entertainment industry and beyond, such as the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund and the SAFESETS hotline.
The human-rights organization boasts a star-studded Rolodex of feminist participants, including Reese Witherspoon, Emma Watson, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Kerry Washington, Ava DuVernay and more.
The Entertainment Safety Initiative echoes the group’s core values, aiming to empower “entertainment workers with information about their rights, industry-specific norms, and practical ways they can advocate for themselves and their safety” in “situations that are at best awkward, or at worst, dangerous.”
The three-part playbook includes facts and consultation regarding “specific circumstances where people have historically been preyed upon, such as auditions and nude, intimate, and simulated sex scenes.”
Some of the “specific circumstances” addressed in the guide range from preparing for chemistry reads (sometimes-intimate audition scenes between two actors) and casting directors who say, “Come back sexier,” to “experiencing sexual assault mid-shoot” and “being asked ‘to have actual sex’ instead of simulated sex” during production.
The many solutions provided in the electronic pamphlets emphasize knowing one’s rights, establishing boundaries and comfort level (in writing, if possible), saying “no” and requesting protections such as a “closed set” and/or intimacy coordinator while performing nude or intimate scenes. The final manual lays out options for safely reporting harassment, discrimination, unwanted touching, sexual assault and rape.
Also included in the documents is an inspirational quote from Oscar winner and Time’s Up member Lupita Nyong’o that reads, “By speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain [our] power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now.”