WGA East Vows to Fight Harassment and Abuse, Condemns Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

The statement comes on the heels of condemnations from SAG-AFTRA and the Canadian actors union ACTRA.

The Writers Guild of America East has added its voice to a chorus of disapproval of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assault. In a strongly worded statement, guild president Beau Willimon and executive director Lowell Peterson on Thursday condemned the alleged behavior and praised the “brave women and intrepid reporters” who brought it to light.

The guild said it was also reviewing its procedures for fighting misconduct and said it would reach out to members for their input. The statement comes on the heels of condemnations from SAG-AFTRA and the Canadian actors union ACTRA.

Read the entire WGA East statement here:

Harvey Weinstein’s deplorable misconduct has become public knowledge because of brave women and intrepid reporters. Regrettably, sexual harassment and assault have long been hallmarks of the entertainment industry. The vast majority of incidents go unreported. Those who have the courage to speak out often do so at professional and emotional risk. All too often no action or insufficient action is the result.

We believe the Writers Guild of America, East has a role to play in moving our industry in the right direction. More immediately, our responsibility is to make sure our members can do their work free from harassment and assault. When this inappropriate behavior does take place, members should be fully supported by the union to make sure that proper action is taken.

The WGAE’s elected leaders and professional staff are undertaking a thorough review of the tools we currently possess and of additional steps the union can take to facilitate prevention, reporting, review, counseling and protection.  As part of that work we will ask members for input on their experiences and how they think the union should tackle this issue.

There might be some uncomfortable features of this struggle against harassment and abuse. The culture of silence will be difficult to change. Sometimes our own members might be perpetrators. In the long run it will be imperative to address the industry’s lack of diversity — the profound imbalance of power in the business of creating and distributing stories. This is a project to which the WGAE is fully committed.