Directors Guild Unveils New Sexual Harassment Complaint Policy

Harrassment Illustration - H 2017
Illustration by Skip Sterling

The memo, sent to members on Thursday, follows a policy of "if you see something, say something."

Following similar actions by the Writers and Producers Guilds, the Directors Guild of America has issued a list of procedures for members to follow in the event that they encounter harassment, abuse or assault.

On Thursday, the DGA sent the "DGA Procedures for Handling Sexual Harassment Complaints" to members, which outlined a general procedure for reporting harassment. "Changing culture is a long and difficult journey; there is much work to be done and the Guild is committed to helping lead that process," the message said.

If a member is sexually harassed, the DGA suggests that the individual contact DGA assistant executive director Mayra Ocampo or their field representatives. Conversations about harassment will be kept private, the organization promised. Following the call, the DGA said that it will advise members on "appropriate resources to support you and advise on next steps," which may include contacting a member's employer if the employer has guaranteed a safe work environment, or strategizing next steps if the harasser is the employer.

"If you see something, say something," the policies guide reads. "Employers are legally prohibited from retaliating against any person for making, or assisting in making, a harassment complaint. If you have been retaliated against for making a complaint, please contact us immediately."

The message also reminded members that the guild had joined the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, the Anita Hill-chaired organization to combat gender bias in the entertainment industry. The guild additionally said it has secured online sexual harassment training for DGA members who work for companies that signed their Basic Agreement of 2017 and Freelance Live and Tape Television Agreement of 2017.

The DGA defined sexual harassment as outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and provided a guide to federal and state laws that prohibit harassment.

The DGA guide follows similar actions taken by other guilds in recent weeks. On Wednesday the Writers Guild of America announced its "Statement of Principles on Sexual Harassment" in an email to members, which detailed a "zero-tolerance" policy for sexual harassment. On Jan. 19, the Producers Guild of America issued new anti-sexual harassment guidelines, which was formed with the help of the Time's Up legal fund and a PGA task force on sexual harassment.

Feb. 1, 1:33 p.m. Updated to reflect when the DGA joined Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace and its agreements with signatory companies.