'We do take it seriously, and we do acknowledge change has to be made,' says vice-chair
Screen Nova Scotia has adopted a new, nationally developed code of conduct to prevent and deal with sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the entertainment industry.
The organization is the first provincial film commission to adopt the guidelines that are meant to apply to everything from casting meetings to festivals, production studios and industry events.
The code sets out a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, including "unwanted sexual attention, inappropriate jokes or texts, threats and other unwelcome conduct."
Karen Wentzell, vice-chair of Screen Nova Scotia, said the code creates industry-wide standards for every shoot and union and goes beyond raising awareness.
"[It] also lets producers and crew and cast know that we do take it seriously, and we do acknowledge change has to be made," she said.
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), in partnership with two dozen industry organizations including the Writers Guild of Canada, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Directors Guild of Canada, released the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct earlier this month after forming a working group in the fall.
The CBC and the Canadian Media Guild, the union that represents many CBC journalists, also signed it.
In a nod to the dozens of stories in the #metoo movement that allege wrongdoing in hotels and at industry events, the code asks its signatories to provide safe spaces to work so that people don't have to go to meetings in private hotel rooms.