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It Stops Here. It Stops Now. It Stops with Producers - From The Presidents

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Harvey Weinstein was a producer.

We can try to find ways to soften the impact of this statement, mentally re-categorizing him as “mostly an executive” or “mostly a distributor.” It doesn’t change the fact that whenever Harvey’s name appeared onscreen, it was next to a producing credit and he was, until recently, a member of the Producers Guild.

As all of us now can see only too clearly—and many of us have known for years—the problem of sexual harassment is endemic. Indeed, for much of its existence, our community widely tolerated harassment. This tolerance took many forms—declining to report or challenge a colleague’s behavior; ignoring misconduct as the price of working with great artists or talents; or simply adopting the baseline assumption that this was “just how Hollywood works.” 2017 will be known as the year we dropped those justifcations.

We hope that other industries follow that lead. Truthfully, the watershed figure in what is a nationwide scandal could have come from another industry; it only came from ours because victims in entertainment possessed prominent voices in their own right and had the courage to speak out about what they had endured. Some might decry sexual harassment as a “Hollywood problem,” but we know this is a cultural sickness that infects politics, education, the business world and every segment of society.

But make no mistake—in our business, sexual harassment is a producers’ problem to address. We are responsible for the culture of our sets; creating safe spaces for our teams to work is the first duty of the producer. Moreover, sexual harassment itself represents a misuse of power and authority. A producer, by definition, serves as an authority both on and of the set. It’s our obligation to wield that authority in a way that’s thoughtful, ethical and always cognizant of the implicit pressure it exerts upon our colleagues, team members and those who aspire to careers in our business.

We’re proud to report that our National Board has authorized an Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force that has already met on several occasions, with the commitment to provide ongoing resources to our members. We are drafting a set of essential practices for producers that will be provided to every PGA member for use on their productions, with the firm expectation that all members will follow them. Harassment is one of the most important issues our Guild has ever faced. It’s been a blind spot for our entire industry for too long. But given the determined leadership of our National Board and the support of our membership, the PGA is ideally positioned to change our professional culture for the better and make this shameful behavior a thing of the past.

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