Writers Guild West to Create Mission Statement on Sexual Harassment in 2018

Writers Guild of America Building - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of WGA West

The writers' union on Tuesday informed members that it had convened a 10-person committee to address sexism in Hollywood.

The Writers Guild of America West is developing a mission statement and initiatives to address sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, according to a message sent Tuesday to members of the organization.

"We are developing a mission statement and a list of specific initiatives to address sexual harassment and the discrimination that goes hand in hand with it. You will be hearing the results of this process, along with specific proposals, early in the new year. Please bear with us. We know there is work to be done, but we must be ever mindful of the regulations that govern us, and nothing can be adopted without careful vetting," WGA West presidents David A. Goodman and Marjorie David and secretary-treasurer Aaron Mendelsohn wrote in their message, which they called an "update" on the board's work on sexual harassment before the holidays.

A 10-person WGA West Board subcommittee has been meeting "regularly" to decide on how to address sexual harassment, according to the message, with the aim of specifying both the rights and responsibilities of members of the organization. Subcommittee members include The Walking Dead producer Glen Mazzara and Straight Outta Compton scribe Andrea Berloff, among others.

"It is also imperative that we address what so many of us perceive as an insufficient response on the part of studios and agencies," Goodman, David and Mendelsohn's statement continued. The message encouraged members who experience or witness harassment before a mission statement is put in place to contact the guild.

The WGA West's impending statement and initiatives join several other efforts that Hollywood companies have recently made to limit sexual harassment and abuse in the industry. Earlier this week, Anita Hill announced the formation of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, a committee that will aim to change gender inequality in Hollywood and boasts Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy as a founding member. Talent agency ICM has pledged to increase the number of female leaders in its ranks to help combat the problem, while CAA has promised to start a legal fund for sexual harassment victims.

The WGA West plans to share more information on its initiatives and mission statement in January.